Drivers in Harrow and across all of Greater London will have to pay the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) charge from August 2023.
Further areas, including Harrow, have been added to the plan with diesel cars having to pay £12.50 per day.
The ULEZ expansion has been designed to help lower pollution levels across the capital and inn order for diesel vehicles to be exempt, they must have been registered after September 2015 with most petrol cars registered from 2005 also exempt from the charge.
Speaking about the expansion, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said: “The ULEZ so far has been transformational, reducing harmful pollution levels by almost a half in central London.
“But there is still far too much toxic air pollution permanently damaging the health of young Londoners and leading to thousands of early deaths every year, with the greatest number of deaths in the outer London boroughs.”
Within the expansion, areas including Bromley, Croydon, Enfield, Harrow, Wembley and more will be affected meaning a new London-wide charge for cars with higher pollution levels.
We wanted to find how the Harrow community feels about the ULEZ expansion. We asked the Harrow Online Group to provide their thoughts and feelings both for and against. Below are some of the responses.
Louise Robinson said: “Just an absolute disgrace with no regard for the consequences for so many people, I’m all for using my car less and being kinder to the environment but this is not the way. All vehicles pollute so unless u take all vehicles off the road this is just a money making exercise.
“I appreciate Harrow Council saying they will do everything in their power to fight this decision, but I would like to know what the plan is and what power they have? The other big issue is PM has made no reference to this expansion so can only assume government are in favour.”
She added: “We also don’t have a 24/7 transport system, there are many industries that require shift work, eg our NHS, staff may not be able to afford a new car and they may not b able to afford £12.50 to get to work everytime they on shift.”
Barry Clift said: “I’m looking at folding my small weekend business as can’t afford to change 2 trucks. I pay my taxes of my main income and the income from my small business plus both lots of national insurance. I feel this is not thought through properly as many small businesses will fold (meaning a) reduction in tax gained by central government, not to mention those businesses that do survive will be adding the extra costs to there customers.
“This will have a huge knock on effect for everybody not just those who drive. I’m all for greener transport but at the moment with the current economic climate and people struggling feed themselves and heat their houses, this ulez extension should be at worst delayed (by) at least 5 years (or) at best scrapped completely.”
Andre Roberts posted: “Sadiq has done a great job and I think that it will help make London’s air clean and breathable. My mum suffers from a lung condition and this could help her a lot.”
Samantha O’Hagan said: “My 2003 car is compliant which I am pleased about as I love it. I personally wouldn’t want an electric vehicle, I think they’re overrated. They must have fallen asleep when designing the Tesla as it’s so bland.
“Some people probably haven’t even checked whether their vehicle is compliant, you’d be surprised how many older vehicles are.
“There are bigger issues than air pollution, the main problem being crime – stabbings.”
Julie Porter commented: “I have an old 2000 car which is reliable and passes an MOT on emissions so I don’t see why I should be forced to get a new car because of the ulez charges. Not everyone can afford to buy a new car.”
Tanya Hawkesworth said: “So people will be forced to pay to drive to hospital for their chemotherapy. The future for electric cars is bleak, how are we to dispose of dead batteries? There should be legislation to ensure electric cars have sound turned on to protect guide dogs and the deaf. So much could be done but no fleece the hard working public, grrrr.”
Jason P emailed: “Whilst I understand the predicament everyone is in financially, we have a commitment to make both to the younger generation and the environment. We cannot sit by and let the pollution in our capital harm the next generation, yes it’s an inconvenience, but it’s worthwhile and will help save lives. Surely that has to be more important? I feel that a lot of people are missing this point when discussing ULEZ.”
Tracy Walsh said: “Just a money making exercise. This doesn’t just affect London Boroughs, it also affects all the neighbouring counties. We are just over the border in Hertfordshire.
“This means my daughter can’t visit either set of grandparents without having to pay ULEZ. Lots of people who live on the edge of ULEZ area need to travel into the area to work and not everyone can afford to upgrade their cars.”