'It's an expense too many': Labour shadow minister attacks Ulez the day before expansion comes into force

28 August 2023, 09:24

Ulez will cover all of London from Tuesday, August 29
Ulez will cover all of London from Tuesday, August 29. Picture: Getty/Alamy/LBC
Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

A Labour shadow minister has hit out at Sadiq Khan's Ulez expansion the day before it is set to come into force across London.

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Speaking to LBC, shadow minister for employment rights and protections and Labour MP for Ellesmere Port Justin Madders said the expansion represents an "expense too many" during a cost-of-living crisis.

"I think he probably needs to be listening to some of the callers you’ve been having on and how it’s affecting them, and think about whether this really is the right time to be going ahead with it," he told LBC.

"We know there’s a massive cost of living crisis at the moment, and asking people to shell out thousands to buy new vehicles or pay £12.50 every day is just an expense to many at this time."

The Ultra Low Emission Zone (Ulez) will come into force across the capital city from Tuesday, August 29, costing drivers with non-compliant vehicles £12.50 every day they drive on London's roads.

Labour MP attacks Ulez day before expansion

The Ulez had previously only covered all areas within the North and South Circular Roads, but will now cover areas in outer London, such as Kingston upon Thames, Croydon and Barnet.

It comes after the Mayor of London told LBC that he believed Ulez has been attacked by conspiracy theorists who did not believe Covid was real.

"I have been surprised", Sadiq Khan said. "I didn't expect for there to be people linking my policies to cleaning up the air with conspiracy theories.

"I did expect people to have genuine concerns, and I have been listening to those genuine concerns."

"I didn't expect this to be weaponised by those who you and I have exchanged with, who didn't believe Covid was real, believed in conspiracy theories and so forth", he added.

"I will always try and address genuine concerns Londoners have, but I have been surprised by how they've been latched onto by others", he said.

Read More: Khan's next Ulez? London mayor 'mulls pay-per-mile road tax' using emission zone cameras

Read More: 'Listen to the people Mr Mayor it'll cost lives and money!': Top union pleads with Sadiq Khan to delay Ulez expansion

After Mr Khan won his High Court ruling that his planned Ulez expansion is legal, he announced every Londoner will be offered thousands of pounds worth of help to scrap their vehicles if they are not Ulez compliant.

Sadiq Khan
Sadiq Khan. Picture: Getty

Everyone in the capital whose car does not meet emissions standards will be eligible for a £2,000 grant from August 21.

Small businesses and sole traders will be able to claim up to £21,000 to scrap as many as three vans and get them replaced.

Charities can get up to £27,000 to scrap three minibuses as City Hall hailed "the most generous scrappage scheme ever seen in the UK".