A Councillor from Bromley says the ULEZ expansion proposal is “wrong on every level” and encourages residents to respond to the Mayor of London’s ULEZ proposal.

A proposal to expand inner London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) to London’s greenest borough is said by Bromley Council to be a “cynical tax raid against the borough’s residents.”

The council’s response to the Mayor of London’s consultation about an expansion of the ULEZ highlights concerns about the impact on those who are lower paid or self-employed and small businesses, who rely on their vehicles for their livelihoods.

Concerns are also expressed for those older drivers, who travel short distances and use their car to maintain their independence, where alternative forms of transport are not available.

Councillor Colin Smith, Leader of Bromley Council said: “Quite simply, this proposal is wrong on just about every level and is really about paving the way for the introduction of road charging taxes across the whole of ‘London’ by stealth.”

“Our borough already has amongst, if not actually the best air quality levels in London, and if this were truly about improving air quality even further, which we obviously support, those responsible would be thinking far harder in terms of broadening the scrappage scheme for non-compliant vehicles and accelerating the roll out of green vehicle charging points and buses.”

Councillor Smith says he fears that the consultation is nothing more than a “tick box sham” that will leave people, families and traders with additional tax.

Councillor Smith continued: “Bromley’s green credentials are amply demonstrated by what we’re doing in a myriad of ways, whether it be recycling, conversion of lamp-post to LEDS, planting trees and working towards our net zero commitment by 2027, far ahead of almost every other London Borough and TfL itself.

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“What we won’t support is an unfair, regressive tax which will achieve very little in terms of outcomes by Zone One Officials who completely fail to grasp the need for people to be able to drive locally, given the size of our borough and the relative shortcomings of the public transport network compared to elsewhere.”

Councillor Smith believes that the ULEZ boundary “should be left where it is”, contained within the North and South Circular.

Bromley residents are encouraged to respond to the consultation, as the council also not convinced that there has been sufficient analysis of the most recent expansion of the ULEZ scheme.

The Council’s response to the consultation is as follows: “This Council supports the objective of improving air quality and to this end has published a comprehensive Air Quality Action Plan 2020-2025 with a matrix of twenty-five actions.

“The Council is committed to ensuring that its operation is carbon net zero by 2027.

“In addition, a further 5,000 trees are being planted on the borough’s roads to add to the existing 36,000.

“We are also continuing our rollout of LED street lighting, installing new electric charge points, and investing in renewable energy.

“The Council, however, disagrees strongly with the proposal to extend the Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) to outer London by August 2023.

“Bromley is, geographically, the largest London Borough, and contains many rural areas which have little public transport and where, unlike inner London, residents are dependent on their cars.

“The Council is particularly concerned about the impact on the self-employed, small businesses which rely on their vehicles to conduct their trade and on elderly residents and others on fixed incomes.

“Already facing substantial increases in fuel costs, the imposition of a daily charge to drive in the borough will be an additional financial burden and, for many, without the means purchase a compliant vehicle, it will mean they can no longer trade or afford to drive.

“The imposition of the ULEZ charge on motorists, including those entering Bromley from neighbouring counties will also be detrimental, especially for those like nurses, police officers, supermarket shelf fillers and others working anti-social hours when public transport is not available.

"The Council therefore calls on Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, to abandon his plans to extend the ULEZ.”

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