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Sadiq Khan calls on government for help to send cars from Ulez scrappage scheme to ‘provide vital support to Ukraine’
23 December 2023, 07:37 | Updated: 23 December 2023, 07:38
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has called on the Government to help provide aid to Ukraine by sending vehicles to Ukraine that would ordinarily be scrapped under Ulez.
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In a joint letter with former defence secretary Ben Wallace, Mr Khan called on Transport Secretary Mark Harper to give drivers "money for taking polluting vehicles off our cities' streets while providing vital support towards the people of Ukraine”.
They said: “Following conversations with the Mayor’s Office in Kyiv and other partners, we understand there is a particular requirement for 4x4 vehicles, as well as emergency service vehicles.
"This could be most quickly done by altering the national regulations for the Certificate of Destruction, which is required as proof that a vehicle has been permanently scrapped, to instead enable the export of suitable vehicles to Ukraine via a registered charity or national scheme," the letter said.
"We recognise that any such change would need cross-departmental co-ordination within Government, not least to ensure that any vehicles sent to Ukraine meet their needs."
It comes after Sadiq Khan previously suggested he did not believe it would be possible to alter the Ulez scheme to export vehicles under current laws.
Kyiv mayor Vitali Klitschko wrote to Mr Khan in September to ask him to have the vehicles donated, saying that they would have "enormous potential" and be deployed in a "variety of life-saving and transport roles" in Ukraine.
But Mr Khan wrote to Mr Klitschko earlier this week to say that the request did not meet the "legal threshold" that would mean it would benefit Londoners from an "economic, social and environmental perspective", the Telegraph reported.
Now in an apparent U-turn, Mr Khan has appealed for the help of the government to "stand in solidarity with the people of Ukraine and "support them in any way we can, including whatever action can be taken through collaboration between all levels of government".
Volunteer organisations have been donating vehicles for soldiers to use on the front in Ukraine since Russia’s invasion.
Last week, the London mayor expressed his frustration that sending non-compliant ULEZ vehicles to Ukraine via the scrappage scheme was not within his legal powers but instead set up a website for the capital's residents to donate directly.
Under the £160m Ulez scrappage scheme, which came into force in August, Londoners with vehicles that fall foul of emission standards can claim up to £2,000 when their non-compliant vehicles are scrapped.
If they carry on using a non-compliant vehicle, they have to pay £12.50 per day.