THE GREATER LONDON RIP-OFF
Recent news on energy
The Labour London Mayor is pushing ahead with plans to extend the £12.50-a-day charging zone, for vehicles that fail to meet emissions standards, to all 32 London boroughs. The crackdown on cars has provoked uproar with cameras vandalised and covered with bags.
The report commissioned by the mayor states that expanding ULEZ would have a negligible effect on reducing carbon dioxide emissions, whilst causing a disproportionate financial impact on disabled people, pregnant women and those on lower incomes.
Khan has been facing growing opposition from drivers and some local politicians since confirming in November that all of Greater London will be included in the ULEZ scheme by August.
The scheme, which was introduced in 2019 and expanded in 2021, penalises drivers with cars that are considered polluting; virtually all diesel cars and older petrol vehicles.
Ulez currently covers most of the city within the North and South Circular but will expand out to all of Greater London within four months, affecting not just those living in outer boroughs but also people driving in non-compliant vehicles from outside the capital.
Mr Khan has made some confident-sounding assertions in order to promote the scheme. He states that he wishes to reduce the amount of particulates emitted by internal combustion engines for the good of our health. The particles, he says, can contribute to children getting asthma, congenital heart defects and lung diseases, and apparently “air pollution is making us sick from cradle to the grave” and “the cost of inaction – to our economy, to livelihoods, to the environment and the health of Londoners – would be a far too high a price to pay”.
However, the Jacobs report, commissioned by Transport for London (TfL), of which Khan is the chairman, concluded that there would be few benefits to such an expansion. The report was published in May last year but its findings appear to have been largely ignored by the Mayor’s team, with no public acknowledgement of its conclusions. They will impose it anyway. Unless, of course, there is attempt to coordinate some serious opposition.
The report found that there would be a 0.1pc reduction in people being exposed to these particulates, and that would prevent, on average (looking at the stats) nine older children from developing asthma. It describes the health benefits as relatively small.
It adds that expansion of the scheme would reduce the amount of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) in the air by 1.3pc.
The logo for this scheme should be a hammer and sickle - Ed.
UPDATE The High Court is allowing further grounds for challenge in the ULEZ expansion review. A coalition of London councils is opposing the ULEZ expansion. (30 May 2023)
FURTHER UPDATE The High Court ruled in favour of the ULEZ. What a surprise.
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