BEXLEY Council has said it is against potential plans for the expansion of the Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) across south east London. 

It comes after the Mayor of London announced plans to expand the ULEZ congestion zone by early next year.  

This means motorists who have cars that are not compliant with ULEZ will have to £12.50 a day to drive. 

A spokesperson for Bexley Council says the Mayor of London has not properly considered the implications of the proposal. 

The mayor risks negative social and economic impacts that are likely to outweigh any benefits, according to Bexley Council. 

The council has now submitted a response to Transport for London’s ULEZ consultation. 

Here’s what the response states:  

  • Bexley has a high level of car ownership due to the lack of modern public transport links serving the borough and could have over 28,000 non-complaint vehicles.
  • Key workers in sectors such as health and the care who rely on their cars to visit patients will be unfairly penalised, with no exemptions or discounts offered.
  • It will put an extra burden on Bexley’s small businesses, which are particularly reliant on cars and vans.
  • The ULEZ charge will deter people from outside the capital who wish to drive into London to work, to shop, to see family, friends or visitor attractions.
  • The charge is a regressive tax, disadvantaging lower income families who cannot afford to pay the charge or buy ULEZ compliant vehicles.
  • It also puts further pressure on household finances, when energy, food and other prices are rising.
  • Non-compliant vehicles are likely to be bought by people in areas outside the ULEZ, where they will continue to impact on air quality and climate change.
  • The costs of implementing the ULEZ have not been properly considered and alternative options have not been properly assessed.

Bexley Council said the mayor does not have a mandate for the ULEZ expansion as it was not included in his election manifesto in 2021.  

A Bexley Council spokesperson explained: “By contrast, it was a key issue in Bexley’s elections in May when there was broad support for the council’s opposition to the proposal. 

“In its response, Bexley is also critical of the way the consultation has been carried out.  

“It says that the survey questions are heavily loaded towards securing support for the scheme, rather than enabling a proper examination of the proposals.  

“It does not ask if the respondent supports the scheme or would prefer alternative approaches.  

“There is also no effort to try and understand its social and economic implications.” 

Drivers of cars, smaller vans, motorbikes, and other lighter vehicles travelling into London which do not meet the ULEZ standard will also have to pay £12.50 to enter. 

The Mayor is currently running a consultation on the expansion proposals which will close on July 29, 2022. 

If plans go ahead, the expansion will come into force on August 29, 2023.

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