DARTFORD MP, Gareth Johnson, today joined MPs from the South East to meet with Transport Minister, Richard Holden, over anger at plans to extend the ULEZ scheme, which is being introduced by Labour’s London Mayor.
Sadiq Khan, the London Mayor, announced at the end of November that he would expand the Ultra Low Emission Zone to the whole of London next year.
Mr Johnson said: “It was essential that we met with the Transport Minister today to discuss the impact of the ULEZ scheme.
I told the Minister that Dartford is likely to be the hardest hit area when this scheme is introduced next year, as the border straddles the local area and the scrappage scheme will only apply to Londoners. We also have no control over the London Mayor.
Many of the poorest people in Dartford will suffer a huge financial burden if this goes ahead.”
During the meeting it was noted this proposal was not in the Mayor’s manifesto and the consultation on any extension of ULEZ showed there was strong opposition to it.
Mr Johnson added: “If this goes ahead, it is possible for the Mayor to increase the number of vehicles caught by the scheme so that whilst it applies to 1 in 7 vehicles now, this could rise substantially.
The cameras needed to implement this scheme will cost around £250m to install, money that will have to come from the Mayor as the Government has rightly refused to pay it. Some of the London Boroughs are also looking at whether they can block this scheme, but the Mayor has devolved powers over transport.”
Mr Johnson has vocally opposed any ULEZ extension plans which would see drivers of cars, smaller vans, motorbikes and other lighter vehicles, which do not meet the ULEZ standard, pay £12.50 daily if they cross the boundary into London. The plan is for the scheme to start in August 2023.