ULEZ is a 'clumsy mechanism' says former MP Stephen Pound
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In a bid to reduce carbon emissions, local councils across the UK have made bigger strides towards making travelling to city centres more sustainable. The ULEZ was expanded in October 2021 to cover everything inside the North and South Circular roads in London.
As a result of Mayor Sadiq Khan’s expansion, drivers are facing extra daily charges of around £385,000.
The daily ULEZ charge of £12.50 could add up for anyone who drives into the zone regularly, costing drivers up to £4,500 a year.
With the increasing implementation of Clean Air Zones and parking, drivers of non-compliant petrol and diesel cars have been subject to rising prices when travelling to work.
A sector that has been heavily impacted by this has been the trades, with British tradespeople avoiding to take work in the capital altogether as they struggle to make profit from those jobs.
According to research by the Federation of Master Builders, 80 percent of builders have had to raise prices due to spiralling parking charges.
Fix Radio has found that the cost of steep parking fee rises, and “green” motoring charges forces builders, plumbers and electricians to spend £70 on average before they have even walked through the door, a total of £300 a day including operating costs.
This is further reflected by the surplus transport charges tradespeople have to face to carry out a job in the city.
Taking parking, congestion and emissions charges into account, the highest daily bill for a diesel van in Islington was up to £129.50.
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The second highest area was Kensington and Chelsea, with an average bill of £88.50.
Gary Mellor of London Gas and speaker on Fix Radio’s Heating and Plumbing Show, gave his opinion on the changes to the capital’s traffic network.
He said: “It is £6 an hour in parking. If I am there for four hours that is £24. Plus, the £12.50 ULEZ, that is £36.50.
“If I do an eight-hour day that is £60. If I am there for the whole week that is £300 I have to charge the customer on top of the normal job.
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“That is London: it is extortionate and unsustainable. It is simply too much hassle to go these jobs and I am having to turn down work as a result.”
London Mayor Sadiq Khan has been steadfast in his support for the ULEZ scheme, saying that air pollution is leading to dramatic health problems for children and older people.
He has praised the scheme for helping to slash air pollution by nearly half in central London.
Mr Mellor added: “I have watched YouTube videos from Artisan Electrics, and he has a new electric van.
“It is £50,000 plus, it is limited to 59 miles per hour, [and] has a maximum range of 58 miles.
“He had to stop three times to charge it. [He] spent more time charging it than driving. You can’t operate like that.”
There are plans to further extend the ULEZ in August 2023, which would encompass almost all of Greater London.
It is estimated that the ULEZ expansion would lead to five million more people being able to breathe cleaner, less polluted air.
According to a new YouGov survey commissioned by the Mayor, only 27 percent opposed the plan.
At the moment, there are no plans to increase the charges from £12.50 per day.
Despite this, many drivers are furious with the decision, saying that the zone should not be extended during the cost of living crisis, when many families are struggling.
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