“Welcome” ULEZ expansion could do more to protect Londoners’ health
Stricter emissions standards for vehicles travelling into London’s Ultra Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ) and expanded congestion charging are needed to help reduce the lethal effects of air pollution, local leaders have said in a recent consultation response to the Mayor of London.
The response, from Mayor of Hackney, Philip Glanville, and Cabinet Member for Environment and Transport, Cllr Mete Coban, welcomed Transport for London (TfL) proposals to expand the ULEZ to cover the whole of Greater London.
Mayor Glanville and Cllr Coban also supported TfL’s plans to consult on distanced-based road user charging, however said TfL must move faster to help boroughs tackle toxic air pollution - with Hackney standing ready to pilot proposals for road user charging.
The call comes one year after Hackney Council adopted strict new World Health Organisation limits on air pollution.
We have supported the Ultra Low Emissions Zone for years and especially when it started to cover Hackney from last year. While it has achieved so much, we’ll only continue to tackle toxic air pollution if we start to reduce traffic, which is why we are committed to reducing traffic by 15% by 2026.
We welcome the expansion of the ULEZ and support the introduction of distance-based road user charging as the next step in encouraging healthier, more sustainable ways of getting around. This must, of course, be accompanied by a scrappage scheme that supports those who need to drive to switch to cleaner vehicles and other forms of sustainable transport.
We’re on the right track in tackling London’s toxic air - and in Hackney, new low traffic neighbourhoods and School Streets are encouraging people to walk and cycle more.
What we need now is London-wide proposals to reduce unnecessary journeys on our roads - so we can ensure that all our residents are protected from the dangers of toxic air.