Drivers offer residents of ULEZ-free road ‘£100 a month’ to use their driveways in bid to dodge fees

29 August 2023, 08:26

Residents of the Ulez-free street are being offered hefty sums for parking space.
Residents of the Ulez-free street are being offered hefty sums for parking space. Picture: Alamy

By Jenny Medlicott

Motorists trying to avoid the fees of Sadiq Khan’s ULEZ scheme are offering residents who live on a ‘charge-free corridor’ £100 a month to park on their driveways.

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By parking on Moor Lane, Chessington, drivers would save more than £250 a month as they would be able to avoid entering the Ultra Low Emission Zone.

However, if anybody driving along the charge-free corridor turns off the road they will immediately enter the zone and will face paying the Ulez charge.

Today, drivers entering any part of the capital will need to pay £12.50 Ulez charge every day if their car does not meet emission standards.

The Mayor of London insists it is needed to clean up the city's air and avoid premature deaths but critics say it clobbers motorists who already face hefty costs, including those commuting into London.

Chessington, the same area where the charge-free corridor is situated, will be included in the Ulez expansion, however, a number of its surrounding areas will be exempt from the charge.

Vispi Irani, 68, who lives on Bridge Road said a man has offered him and his neighbours £100 a month to use their driveways in a bid to avoid the charge.

He said: "I think it’s [the Ulez charge] ridiculous.

"We don't have to pay it on the road where we live, but I'm planning on changing my car, so I won't have to pay it for the others."

Read more: 'It’s not about air quality, it’s about raising money!': Transport Secretary slams Sadiq Khan's controversial Ulez expansion

Read more: Ulez expands to cover all of London as Sadiq Khan ploughs on with controversial scheme despite heavy opposition

The Ulez expansion comes into effect today.
The Ulez expansion comes into effect today. Picture: Alamy

He continued: "A chap came round and put notes through my and my neighbours' doors.

"He was offering £100 a month to let him park on our drive so he could get around paying the charge."

"I don't know how he was planning to get here. I guess he would use public transport.

"We have a big drive so I gave him a call, but he didn't answer."

Tony Oak, 46, runs a waste clearance firm around 300ft outside the new Ulez zone.

Mr Oak said the new scheme means all four of his employees will have no choice but to pay the daily £12.50 charge as they will have to travel through the zone to get to work and cannot afford to update their cars.

"My staff will have to pay £12.50 every day they come to work. That's about £4,000 a year," he said.

"They feel they are effectively working an extra hour for nothing. One of my employees is considering working elsewhere because of the added cost.

"We're completely surrounded by the zone, it's a no-win situation. There's no bus you can get to here. The nearest bus stop is half a mile away.

"We travel inside and outside of the zone during work hours. That's a cost we pass on to the customer.

"We can't afford to get new company vehicles, it just all adds up. We've looked into electric vehicles in the past but they don't have the range - we do too many miles every day.

"Then there's the cost of having chargers fitted. I know a lot of the other businesses around here are having the same problem.”

Sadiq Khan's scheme has faced backlash from locals.
Sadiq Khan's scheme has faced backlash from locals. Picture: Alamy

It comes after it today emerged that six out of seven counties neighbouring London have refused to put up Ulez warning signs, despite Sadiq Khan's controversial scheme expanding to cover all of London from today.

That includes Kent, Hertfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Essex, and Thurrock. Only Slough has reached an agreement with TfL.

David, 83, a retired health worker who lives in the new Ulez zone also said: “'What's the benefit? It's a money-making gadget.

“I know electricians who aren't going to work in this area anymore because of the new zone.

“It's all people talk about round here, they're angry about it and moaning. If you turn anywhere off Bridge Road left or right you have to pay.

“People should have a choice.”

The Ulez scheme uses cameras to detect the number plates of cars and sends drivers a charge if their vehicle doesn't meet its requirements.

It 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.

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