London Mayor Sadiq Khan has been branded an “utter disgrace” after he announced that he would impose a daily tax of £12.50 for every car in London that does not meet his predetermined low emission standards. The Labour mayor extended the Ulez zone from central London to the entire capital despite a consultation showing that 60 percent opposed the move including 70 percent in outer London and 80 percent of businesses.
It means that in the middle of a cost of living crisis where families in some of London’s poorest boroughs are struggling to pay for food and heating they will now be forced to get rid of their cars or pay a cumulative tax bill of £4562.50 to the Mayor of London per vehicle.
The tax will apply to all petrol cars older than 2005 registration and diesel cars older than 2015.
Meanwhile, businesses which have been hit by inflation, increased taxes and the economic crisis will have to pay the charge for vans and lorries.
The move by Mr Khan has already been branded “the Ulez scandal”.
Conservative Minister for London Paul Scully said: “The Mayor consulted saying if there was ‘overwhelming opposition’ he wouldn’t extend ULEZ. Well 70% of outer Londoners don’t want it; 80% of business owners in outer London don’t want it with the same level of opposition among people working in outer London.
“That’s pretty overwhelming to anyone but the Mayor. Most Londoners can see how this is going to affect the lowest paid and businesses. It’s time for a Mayor who actually listens to and represents Londoners from all parts of the city.”
Orpington MP Gareth Bacon promised: “As your MP, I will continue to fight Khan’s disastrous proposal every step of the way. Orpington can’t afford Labour’s driving charges.”
Susan Hall, leader of the Tories on the London Assembly said: “About 60 percent oppose the ULEZ expansion in the official results – an overwhelming majority.
“It increases to 68 percent when you exclude organised responses. Sadiq Khan must now scrap the ULEZ expansion.”
Mr Khan had promised a “genuine” consultation when he launched it over expanding Ulez to outer Lo ndon but apears to have ignored his own promises.
Former Tory candidate for mayor Shaun Bailey said: “Sadiq Khan must now respond by scrapping the expansion and opening the process to public scrutiny.”
In a message posted on social media, Mr khan said that the move was about giving London clean air.
He said: “Cleaner air is coming to outer London.
“In a move that will deliver cleaner air for five million more people and help us to tackle the climate emergency we’re expanding Ulez.”
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The expansion is set to take effect in August 2023 but Express.co.uk understands that it could be subject to legal challenges and there could be a request that Rishi Sunak’s government intervenes.
Already London Conservatives have demanded he scraps the policy immediately.
Brian Gregory, policy director at the Alliance of British Drivers, said he thought Mr Khan was wrong to press ahead with the scheme.
He said: “His whole basis for extending the ULEZ zone on the basis of public health doesn’t stand up to scientific scrutiny.