Following Sadiq Khan’s decision to expand the ULEZ to the whole of London I have had the time to read the whole report (all 300 pages of it) on which he based his decision – see link below. These are my comments on it:
Our objections were mentioned but were rejected with a trivial comment, along with all the other objections from other people and organisations.
The Mayor justifies his decision because of his commitment to have 80% of all trips in London to be made by foot, by cycle or using public transport by 2041. He also wants to go further to reduce air pollution, tackle the climate emergency and reduce traffic congestion. Comment: As already pointed out, the expanded ULEZ will have minimal impact on air pollution and will certainly have no impact on the climate or reduce traffic congestion (only a minority of vehicles are affected and their owners will just switch to newer models).
The Mayor alleges that there are 4,000 premature deaths in outer London caused by air pollution including 204 in Bromley, 201 in Barnet, 196 in Croydon, etc. These are simply estimates and bear no relation to reality. It’s ignoring the fact that outer London boroughs have less air pollution and low rates of most diseases but they do have older populations as people move out of central London to the suburbs as they grow their families or retire.
The consultation results show overwhelming opposition to the ULEZ Expansion: 68% of respondents (when organised responses are excluded), 70% of outer London, 80% of people who work in outer London, 80% of outer London business owners.
There were a number of “organised” responses to the consultation. Apart from ones we encouraged there were ones directly promoted by Fair Fuel UK, Living Streets, London Cycling Campaign, London Friends of the Earth Network and Wearepossible.org. The last one generated 4,312 emails, more than any other source, and who are they you may ask? Wearepossible.org are a part of the 10:10 Foundation, a Charitable Incorporated Organisation, with very substantial financial support from a hedge fund. Their objective is to achieve a zero-carbon world and their chairperson is an academic focussed on climate change. So much for the complaint of one MP that the consultation was being biased by pro motoring organisations – the exact opposite is the truth.
Many respondents seemed to think it was a consultation on responding to climate change with 37% of respondents saying it was Very Important to take steps to tackle climate change when the ULEZ proposal cannot have any impact on climate change as it will not affect CO2 emissions.
It is noticeable that a large proportion of the responses came from central London addresses, i.e. from people who will not be affected by the ULEZ expansion in any way. In summary there was a concerted effort by environmental activists to distort the consultation.
An article in the Daily Express suggests there will be a massive drop in used car values based on a report by Carwow. There are about 200,000 non-compliant cars that regularly drive into the affected area it notes and these will likely be sold in the next eighteen months so that drivers avoid paying over £2,000 per year to Sadiq Khan. There is still a market for such vehicles in other parts of the country but prices may well be substantially affected.
What’s our advice to those who own non-compliant cars? Don’t panic. Running an existing vehicle until next August will reduce the impact and there may be an immediate rush by some sellers that will temporarily depress prices further which already reflect the anticipated decision. For those who only use a vehicle occasionally it might be more cost effective to retain it rather than buy a new vehicle.
There is always a chance that the implementation will be delayed or cancelled. There is a move by some outer London Councils to try and thwart the Mayor’s plans. The Secretary of State for Transport could also intervene if he had a mind to do so.
There is also a Parliamentary petition requesting the position of Mayor of London be removed – see https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/617592 . I suggest you sign it!
Report to the Mayor on ULEZ Expansion: https://haveyoursay.tfl.gov.uk/15619/widgets/58629/documents/34558
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