Buy £3,000 car to avoid ULEZ charge in London suburbs, says Labor MP

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A member of the Labor Assembly has suggested that people in the suburbs of London could buy a ULEZ-compliant car for £3,000 if they’re concerned about paying daily costs.

Following the rollout of the Ultra-Low Emission Zone expansion last October, London Mayor Sadiq Khan launched a public consultation earlier this year on plans to further expand the ULEZ to all of Greater London by August 2023.

The issue was raised Thursday during a Mayor’s Question Time at City Hall by Conservative Assembly member Neil Garratt.

Mr Garratt said he had been approached by “many residents” in his Sutton and Croydon constituency who were concerned about the financial implications of further expanding the ULEZ.

Drivers of cars that do not meet the minimum emission standards are required to pay a daily surcharge of £12.50 to enter the Ultra-Low Emission Zone.

Mr Garratt said:[Residents] are concerned about what that extension would mean as they can’t afford to pay £12.50 a day to use their car, they can’t afford to replace their car with a car that doesn’t cost that much and they cannot go to work or do their daily commutes in any other way.”

Commenting on Mr Garratt, Mr Khan said he would encourage those with concern to respond to TfL’s public consultation on the plans and added that it was important to have a scrapping scheme “to support those who have a polluting vehicle”.

But in response to the question, Labor Assembly member Leonie Cooper suggested it wasn’t “impossible” for residents of the suburbs of London to buy a used ULEZ-compliant car for around £3,000.

Ms Cooper said: “If you calculate £12.50 a day, five days a week, say 46 weeks a year, so six weeks of vacation, that adds up to a payment of £2,875. If you look in… trade magazines where you can look for used vehicles that would meet the current level of the ULEZ and are generally available for £2,875 or thereabouts.”

Asked to clarify her comments, Ms Cooper told the Standard: “Toxic air contributes to thousands of premature deaths and serious illnesses every year. It must be remembered that the vast majority of vehicles will not be affected by the ULEZ charge when it is extended to all of Greater London.

“For the minority that will be affected, I want to see good financial support through new scrapping schemes for Londoners, businesses and charities to cover the cost of upgrading their vehicles.”

Sadiq Khan was criticized for a similar suggestion last year, ahead of the first expansion of the Ultra-Low Emission Zone.

In an interview with the Standard in June 2021, Mr Khan said he was sympathetic to people whose vehicles did not meet minimum emissions standards, but that they could “buy a used vehicle” to avoid paying the £12.50 charge. had to pay.

In the first month of last year’s ULEZ expansion, 92 percent of vehicles entering the zone were reported to meet the new standards.

The City Hall estimates that if the zone is expanded to the suburbs of London, 20,000 to 40,000 polluting vehicles will be removed from London’s roads every day, reducing CO2 emissions by as much as 150,000 tons.

Londoners have until July 29 to respond to TfL’s public consultation on the proposed extension.

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