London Assembly calls for drastic rethink on Ultra Low Emission Zone
In response to the Mayor’s consultation on the proposed ULEZ, the Committee is recommended that the initiative be implemented sooner than 2020, with the initial non-compliance charge set to increase over the zone’s first years.
It also said that discussions with boroughs on the costs, benefits and practicalities of a wider ULEZ should be progressed, with a view to widening the ULEZ beyond the Congestion Charge Zone, as soon as possible.
And it added that the standards of the ULEZ must be kept under review, and should be tightened to drive the uptake of lower-emissions vehicles as they become more widely available.
Stephen Knight AM, chair of the Environment Committee said: ‘The Mayor’s argument that owners need time to adjust their purchasing decisions doesn’t wash because non-compliant vehicles will not become unusable, they will just be subject to charges. TfL has said that nearly three quarters of the traffic in central London will meet the proposed ULEZ standards by 2020 even without the zone. The financial costs to a small number of drivers must therefore be weighed against the worrying number of Londoners affected by respiratory problems and thousands of early deaths linked to the capital’s air quality.’
The Committee says the Mayor, boroughs and government should examine how the whole of London could achieve full compliance with air pollution limits by 2020.