Letter to the Mayor of London on proposed ULEZ expansion

A letter to the Mayor of London from the leader on the proposed ULEZ expansion.

Dear Mayor Khan,

I am writing to you to formally state Harrow Council’s opposition to your proposed ULEZ expansion, which expands the scheme to include the London Borough of Harrow.

Harrow Council, at a Full Council meeting on Thursday 21 July, adopted a motion which officially set Harrow’s position to oppose the ULEZ expansion.

We believe the ULEZ expansion to be a regressive tax inflicted upon the poorest motorists. People do not choose to drive older, more polluting vehicles. They drive such vehicles because they cannot afford newer, environmentally friendly cars. Hitting such residents with a £12.50 charge every time they use their cars will hinder these people from getting better vehicles, not help them.

The initial analysis published in the wake of your previous ULEZ expansion has shown only very limited evidence that the expansion made any meaningful improvement to air quality. You should not expand the ULEZ again until further comprehensive analysis has taken place.

You should not be hitting people with extra charges during a cost-of-living crisis. This expansion will punish Harrow’s poorest motorists who need to drive their cars to shop and get to work.

You have set aside almost £400 million to fund the ULEZ expansion. Rather than punishing less well-off residents with a ULEZ tax, this money should be spent on schemes which incentivise residents to switch to less polluting vehicles and transport. For example, you could fund; a faster upgrade to a zero-emission bus fleet, or increasing the roll-out of rapid charging points, or encouraging more freight consolidation schemes, or bringing back the previous Boiler Cashback Scheme or financing a generous scrappage scheme to support residents to replace their vehicles.

All these proposals would help to reduce Harrow’s air pollution without hitting poorer motorists with a regressive tax.

I hope you will reconsider your ill-conceived ULEZ expansion and protect Harrow’s residents from yet more charges.

Yours sincerely

Councillor Paul Osborn

Leader of Harrow Council

Published: 27th July 2022