Hertfordshire County Council has written to the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan advising him to ‘go back to the drawing board’ with his plans to expand his Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) due to the detrimental financial impact on the county’s residents and businesses who cross the border into Greater London.

As a county with many centres, villages and towns, there are often challenges to travelling by public transport in Hertfordshire creating reliance on private car journeys.

With many Hertfordshire residents living on the border with London, travel into the proposed ULEZ by car is for many the only realistic available option for some journeys like visiting to provide care and support for loved ones.

The introduction of a £12.50 charge to enter London, particularly at a time when households are struggling and fines of up to £180 for non-compliance are seen as a regressive tax on motorists.

Eric Buckmaster, executive member for environment and waste, Hertfordshire County Council said: “Consistent with our views expressed in the consultation we are not supportive of a scheme which is blatantly unfair to residents outside of London.

“This is hugely regressive, hitting the poorest hardest, effectively targeting the least well off and the least likely to be able to replace their vehicle. The Mayor needs to go back to the drawing board.

“We do not accept that any signage, cameras aimed at fining our drivers, potentially up to £180 if they forget to pay the £12:50 charge, should be based in Hertfordshire.

“Cleaner air is a priority in Hertfordshire and with 2030 looming we welcome the long-standing commitment from Government to phase out petrol and diesel engines after this date. In the meantime, we should not be penalising those who can least afford it, particularly at this difficult time.

“Hertfordshire County Council supports the continued rollout of EV charging across the county and the uptake of electric and hybrid vehicles as we draw near to the 2030 deadline for petrol and diesel cars and would welcome any support for a wider scrappage scheme.”

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