I have now had time to read the “London-wide ULEZ Integrated Impact Assessment” report produced by Jacobs (see link below) which TfL commissioned on the expansion of the ULEZ scheme to the whole of London.
It makes for interesting reading and covers the likely impact on the environment, on health, on equality and on the economy. I’ll pick out some key points:
- They forecast a reduction of 1.7% in total car trips across Greater London as a result, but there would be a big reduction in people driving into London from outside for shopping and other purposes of 14.2%. In effect the scheme would impact many people who don’t even live in London and have no vote on the Mayor. In the outer London suburbs and further out there are a lot of retired and poorer people who run vehicles that are non-compliant and cannot afford to buy new ones.
- A scrappage scheme is proposed to help people move to compliant vehicles but that would only likely be targeted at a small minority of affected people.
- They identify differential impacts (i.e. negative ones) on the disabled and people with restricted mobility who need to shop or visit health facilities but don’t propose any mitigation measures to tackle that problem.
- They recognise the impact on tradespeople and small businesses that operate non-compliant LGVs.
- The reduction in air pollution in Greater London would be miniscule – about 0.1% in the important PM2.5 emissions for example (see Page 48 of the Report). Nobody is going to notice this and it won’t have any significant impact on health outcomes.
- The negligible impact on health is shown in tables 6.2 onwards and the report states that “health benefits from reductions in PM2.5 are relatively small”.
- The problem of people visiting hospitals within the zone who are not able to use public transport for a variety of reasons (such as vulnerable to covid or other infections) is mentioned and there is a congestion/ULEZ refund scheme operated by hospitals but many people don’t know about it. It is also complex to make a claim as this writer knows from personal experience.
- In reality there are numerous people that will be negatively impacted or incur substantial costs which the report effectively glosses over. Some of the impacts are ignored – such as the impact on retail businesses in outer London, while the suggested “mitigation” measures are unlikely to be very effective.
- The report ignores the financial cost of expanding the scheme with thousands of new camera and road signs required.
In summary this report shows how damaging the expansion will be with many negative impacts and negligible positive ones, but will Mayor Sadiq Khan pay any attention? We will see soon no doubt.
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