A local businessman has called for the extension of the ULEZ zone to be reversed due to its financial impact on businesses and families in Greater London.

Richard Beard, who works in construction services and maintenance, has experienced first-hand the problems created by the new congestion charge. “I have had to buy a new vehicle as it is too much to pay the congestion charge every day and for the same reason, I’ve had to buy a new family car”. Mr Beard goes onto say that he’s been doubly impacted because other vehicles have gone up in price due to the shortage of cars and commercial vehicles. 

The ULEZ zones were introduced to tackle air pollution, congestion and the climate emergency as well as to improve people’s health and the burden on the NHS. Initially it was introduced in April 2019 in just London, however in late August 2023 it was extended to greater London, subsequently causing much controversy. 

Asked what he thought of Mayor Sadiq Khan’s extending of the scheme, in the face of much vocal protest, Mr Beard believes that motorists should have been given more time to get new vehicles and that more infrastructure for battery vehicles should have been built before introducing the charge. He also believes that the mayor should resign. “He has not listened to the people who he is meant to represent. I think he has made false statements based on mis-information and one-sided studies and I would like him to reverse the ULEZ in outer London.”

While many Londoners may disagree with Mr Beard, there has been much opposition from motorists and business owners alike who have been affected in similar ways. Clearly this is an issue that will continue to divide public opinion, with no sign of the anti-ULEZ protests abating any time soon.