This morning (25 Nov 22) the Mayor of London announced that despite “overwhelming opposition” to the ULEZ expansion plans at public consultation, the London-wide proposals would go ahead stating it had "not been an easy decision" but "in the end, public health comes before political expediency".
When the proposed expansion to London’s Ultra-Low-Emission-Zone was announced earlier this year, Jon Cruddas the Labour MP for Dagenham & Rainham raised his concerns regarding the impact it would have on his constituents. Representations were made to the Mayor of London both on behalf of constituents, and in a cross-party letter on behalf of the Federation of Small Businesses.
Jon outlined several key tests that the scheme must meet to make it workable for the people of Dagenham & Rainham, but the Labour MP also stressed that the ULEZ should be delayed whilst the looming cost-of-living crisis played out.
The Mayor of London explained that the cost-of-living crisis was a “key consideration” for him, but ultimately public health must come first. Dagenham & Rainham is one of the most deprived constituencies in London and is home to many families struggling to make ends meet in the current economic climate. As it stands, from 29 August 2023 local people will have to pay £12.50 per day to drive if their vehicle doesn’t meet standards.
The Labour MP reacted to this morning’s announcement:
“Today’s announcement from City Hall regarding ULEZ is deeply disappointing. It seems that, aside from an improved scrappage scheme, the representations I made on behalf of my constituents fell on deaf ears.
“I understand the pressing need to improve air quality and public health, but this scheme will be another unwelcome hit on working people in areas like Dagenham & Rainham. The Tories have crashed our economy leaving thousands of people struggling to put food on the table and heat their homes, and against this backdrop those same people will now struggle to get to work.
“This should have been delayed until we were on the other side of the cost-of-living crisis, which hasn’t really begun to bite yet. Dagenham & Rainham is home to many low-income workers who rely on their personal vehicles. The public transport infrastructure just isn’t there to support this policy. I will continue to challenge this in the strongest possible terms over the coming weeks and months.”