With almost three months to the launch of the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) in Greater London, the challenges facing the scheme are increasing.

Hillingdon, along with three other Conservative London Councils and Surrey County Council, has been granted a judicial review to challenge the planned implementation of ULEZ. The grounds for the review include:

  • Failure to comply with relevant statutory requirements
  • Whether the Mayor properly considered the previous “buffer zone” approach as a material consideration in relation to the scrappage scheme
  • Unfair and unlawful consultation in relation to expected compliance rates in outer London
  • Scrappage scheme – irrationality due to uncertainty and inadequate consultation.

The High Court has recently granted the latter two points.

Richmond (Liberal Democrat), whilst actively supporting the scheme, has stated that it does not go far enough to support residents. Richmond launched The Good Move Scheme to help residents find greener, cleaner and cheaper methods of travel in the borough.

Cllr Alexander Ehmann, chair of Richmond’s Transport and Air Quality Committee, said:

“Earlier this year, we called on the Mayor to postpone the ULEZ expansion and work up a scrappage scheme that gives support to those that do not currently receive any kind of state benefit but are seriously struggling and cannot afford the high cost of a new car.

“We also supported more comprehensive proposals that were tabled within the GLA to double the scheme from £ 100 million to over £200 million, but these plans were rejected.

“Mark Twain once said “I can live for two months on a good compliment”, but our residents can’t live on compliments alone. They need a comprehensive TfL scrappage scheme and serious investment in outer London public transport. We’re still waiting.”

Hounslow (Labour) has written to the Mayor of London requesting that he review the criteria for the scrappage scheme.

As a result, the criteria have now been expanded to:

  • Allow all Londoners receiving child benefits to apply (previously eligibility covered couples earning up to £40,000 only).
  • Allow small businesses with fewer than 50 employees to apply. Currently, only those with up to ten staff can apply.
  • A new three-month grace period for organisations who have booked a retrofit appointment for a non-compliant van or mini bus but have not been able to have the work completed by August 2023.
  • A new six-month grace period for organisations who have ordered a compliant vehicle but have been informed delivery will be delayed till after August 2023.

The Mayor has defended the scheme because of its positive impact on the health of people in London.

Photo by Caspar Rae on Unsplash


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