The Harrow Council Leader, Cllr Paul Osborn, has spoken out against the ULEZ expansion across Greater London, stating that it will unfairly penalise hard-working families and business owners while having only a negligible impact on air quality.
The Mayor of London and Transport for London (TfL) have plans to implement ULEZ, which will levy a daily £12.50 charge for non-compliant vehicles.
“I know many of you will be following our opposition to the expansion of the Ultra Low Emission Zone, which TfL and the Mayor of London want to impose on the whole of Greater London,” said Cllr Osborn via the MyHarrow newsletter.
TfL has already started to install cameras in outer London boroughs, including Harrow, to manage ULEZ. However, the council leader, along with three other London councils, has stated that they were not aware of the installation of the cameras and have not assisted in any way.
“Together with the other three London councils opposing the plans, we’ve clarified that this work has gone ahead without our knowledge and that we are in no way assisting it,” the Council Leader said.
The cameras, which use automatic number plate recognition technology, are attached to traffic lights owned and managed by TfL. The council leader believes that the introduction of ULEZ will have serious consequences for Harrow residents.
“We’ve brought this action because we feel very strongly that ULEZ is wrong for outer London and will unfairly penalise hard-working families and business owners,” he added.
Despite the legal challenge, TfL has gone ahead with its plans to install the cameras. If the council succeeds in their legal challenge, the cameras will have to be removed. “If we succeed in our legal challenge then the cameras will have to be removed,” the Harrow Council Leader stated.
Cllr Osborn has also acknowledged the concerns of residents who are already dealing with the rise in energy and food prices.
“We know many residents already coping with the global spike in energy and food prices are very concerned about how they could possibly afford a daily tax to leave their homes. They have my assurance that we will do all we can to resist its imposition,” the Council Leader said.
In other news, the council has also committed to funding the free school meals scheme for the next 12 months.
“If your child is entitled to free school meals you should have already received vouchers to help with the cost of food over the holiday period. We’ve committed to continue funding this scheme over the next 12 months,” the Council Leader said.
Additionally, Cllr Osborn has wished Jewish residents a happy Passover, which will begin on Wednesday evening and will be celebrated over eight days. “I’d also like to take the opportunity to wish our Jewish residents a happy Passover. Celebrations for this important festival will be held over eight days starting next Wednesday evening,” he added.