Sutton Council says it will block roll out of ULEZ expansion in the borough

  • london
  • January 20, 2023
  • Comments Off on Sutton Council says it will block roll out of ULEZ expansion in the borough
Sutton Council says it will block roll out of ULEZ expansion in the borough thumbnail

Sutton Council is refusing to allow Transport for London (TfL) to roll out Sadiq Khan’s plans to expand the ULEZ scheme to the borough.

The south London council, which is run by the Liberal Democrats, said it will not be signing a Section 8 agreement with TfL, meaning no Sutton Council funds or resources will be spent on installing CCTV cameras to enforce ULEZ rules.

ULEZ is a designated area in London where a fee is charged for driving the most polluting vehicles – typically older cars.

The scheme is currently limited to all areas within the North and South Circular Roads, but Sadiq Khan has announced that ULEZ will be expanded across all London boroughs from 29 August.

This means hundreds of thousands of drivers across London could face a daily charge of £12.50 every time they drive if their vehicle does not meet emission standards. 

Sutton Council claims ULEZ expansion is unfair on local people because Sutton does not have tube or overground services connecting it to other boroughs, so residents rely on cars to get around.

In a statement published on their website, Sutton Council said: ‘We are concerned that the costs will be shouldered by people already struggling to get by in a difficult time, including small business owners and key workers.

‘Liberal Democrats want to see action on air pollution. We have been clear that ULEZ can only work for Sutton if it is fair to residents.’

TfL has introduced a scrappage scheme, meaning vehicle owners who receive disability or other means-tested benefits can get their current vehicle scrapped, and receive a grant payment to buy a new car that is compliant with the ULEZ restrictions. 

People eligible for the scheme can also opt for a smaller grant to receive annual bus and tram passes instead.

A separate van and minibus scrappage scheme is also available to sole traders, charities, and those who run micro-businesses with ten or fewer employees.

Sutton Council has called for ‘a proper scrappage scheme that covers all residents and struggling small businesses’, as well as more time for people to change to compliant vehicles and investment in public transport including new buses and trams.

The council said: ‘We are taking this step to send a strong signal to the Mayor that he must start listening to local people. Though the Mayor has the right to overrule us, and may attempt to force this unpopular decision on the residents of Sutton, we are clear that would be the wrong thing to do.

‘The position of Sutton Liberal Democrats and the Council could not be clearer. We will continue to stand up for Sutton and fight for what is right by local residents and businesses.’

Sutton Council joins Hillingdon, Bexley, and Bromley Councils in hitting out against the scheme after Sadiq Khan was accused of providing ‘false and misleading’ information about a consultation over the planned ULEZ expansion.

The Mayor’s office is accused of lowering the level of opposition in the final count from 62% to 59%.

Rishi Sunak has called on Sadiq Khan to scrap the planned ULEZ expansion after anger from Conservative MPs including David Simmons.

If the plan goes ahead, vehicle owners will be charged depending on how much nitrogen dioxide their vehicle omits in line with European emission standards.

Diesel cars and vans must have been registered from 2016 to avoid the charge and most petrol models registered from 2006 are exempt.

An exact date for a decision on the scheme has not yet been announced.

Get your need-to-know
latest news, feel-good stories, analysis and more