In a recent poll conducted by the Harrow Online Facebook Group, Harrow residents and group members voiced their strong opposition to the forthcoming Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) expansion set to be implemented across all London boroughs from August 29 this year.
The poll, which received over 1,000 votes, revealed that 90% of participants voted against the ULEZ expansion, 8% per cent were in favour of it and 2% were undecided.
Rachel Lacey stated, “Against. For a sole trader, the cost of a job is put onto the customer. Nobody can afford it at this time. Also, not enough time to replace vehicles if you could afford it.”
Haran Uma expressed a different viewpoint, saying, “I’m for. Air quality needs to improve. I hate inhaling dirty diesel smoke, and we all deserve cleaner air. I’m no fan of electric cars and wouldn’t buy one any time soon, but you can find ULEZ-compliant cars over 20 years old, so it’s not like you need to buy a brand new car to be compliant.”
Hitesh Kothary conveyed his mixed feelings, stating, “I have voted against and am extremely torn about the impact on vulnerable people and folks visiting lonely people and family… but from an overall principle point of view, I agree we need to do more to improve all facets towards a greener existence and that this takes some tough decisions. Also, I find it very difficult to agree with Khan’s logic if the positive environmental impact is minimal.”
Kothary continued, offering his recommendations: “My recommendation would be the following: 1) All buses to electric; Khan will have to find those funds first. 2) Any car with a current value of over 25k and falls outside of ULEZ is to be impacted from August 1st. 3) Any car with a value of 20k as of 1st Jan 2024 is to be impacted by ULEZ. 4) ULEZ relief for everyone over 75 until the end of 2024. We also need a solution to avoiding loneliness and isolation for some folks that may depend on family and friends without compliant cars visiting them.”
Rodney Aldous expressed scepticism, stating, “It’s a money-making scheme to get money out of already struggling people who are unable to feed and keep themselves warm. It’s got nothing to do with air pollution, as cars are already tested for emissions when taken yearly for an MOT. Ordinary folk are struggling now, not having enough money for food and paying utility bills. They cannot afford to replace their vehicles with electric cars or replace their diesel vehicle which is only 6 years old.”
Annie Lawless, who primarily uses public transport, shared her perspective: “I either walk or use public transport, so would obviously prefer less air pollution. But as I spend a considerable amount of time at bus stops, there seem to be more exhaust fumes and particles coming from lorries rather than cars; even the older non-diesel ones. Nevertheless, fewer cars on the roads and more buses make sense – but I’m not averse to getting a lift in a car when one is offered.”
Shirley Harding highlighted the financial disparity, saying, “The people who make these rules can afford to buy new cars and don’t have to worry about household bills and the cost of food like the majority of us, especially people on a pension.”
Simone Simon expressed her strong disapproval, stating, “I think for a Labour Mayor to impose essentially a tax on those that can’t afford to replace their vehicles is abhorrent. He is literally stealing from the poor! It doesn’t make any sense at all. It disgusts me that he’s gone ahead and put the ULEZ cameras up, even though Harrow council, the people that live there, and pretty much all over London, on the whole, are so against this stupid money-making scheme.”
Keith Nason expressed several concerns regarding the ULEZ expansion. He stated, “While I doubt anyone can argue about the benefit of reducing pollution, the ULEZ as planned is both unfair and potentially counterproductive.”
Elvis Brown offered a varied opinion and quipped: “I’m not totally against ULEZ but the timing is wrong when there is a cost of living crisis going on. Another issue, if you have a diesel that more than 6 years old it’s practically valued at nothing in London and the price of new or 2nd hand cars are very expensive at the moment. I have a non-complaint car and not sure what to do, I think I will be doing more walking from the 29th August.