Second Consultation on ULEZ – Make Sure You Respond

The Mayor of London has announced the second stage of consultation on the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ). If you are a resident or drive a vehicle in London, this consultation will affect you so it is important that you respond to it.

For example, anyone who drives a diesel car registered before 2014 may face a charge of £12.50 to drive within the North/South Circular from 2019 – or even earlier! That’s in addition to the Congestion Charge (a.k.a. Tax) so you will be paying over £20 to drive into central London. In addition older vehicles (pre-2006) will be paying an additional £10 as an “Emissions Surcharge” (or T-charge) almost immediately and many commercial vehicles will face very substantial additional charges.

Is this simply a money making scheme to fund Transport for London? Or a genuine attempt to tackle air pollution problems? You can try to answer that question by studying the supporting documents, but you won’t find any cost/benefit analysis. In addition it actually says “Predicted air quality concentrations and analysis of change in population exposure to air pollution will be provided during the statutory consultation in 2017 if the Mayor decides to take this forward”.

It would seem to be a case of consult first, then provide the data to justify the scheme later. That’s in the hope that polemics about the impact on health from transport pollution will swing the views of the public to come to a conclusion before they know the facts.

The Mayor has already done one consultation on the proposals, and there was general support indicated there but here’s one quote they give in the report on that consultation: “These latest proposals are attempts to foist unfair stealth taxation upon the vast majority, thus making the rich/poor divide worse”. Bearing in mind that there is no evidence given on the real impact, when pollution is coming down as the vehicle fleet modernises anyway so at best there will be only a short term benefit, it certainly looks more like a tax raising scheme to this writer.

The latest proposals include extending the ULEZ London-wide for HGVs and buses, possibly as early as 2019, and extending the ULEZ area to within the North/South Circular and bringing it forward to 2019.

So make sure you respond to this consultation which you can do at the bottom of this web page which summarises the proposals: https://consultations.tfl.gov.uk/environment/air-quality-consultation-phase-2/?cid=airquality-consultation#Have your say

Roger Lawson

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