ULEZ Will Expand To Become London-Wide By 2023

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has announced plans to expand the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) to include Greater London by 2023…

Expanding the ULEZ

Sadiq Khan has confirmed that Transport for London is now consulting on expanding the ULEZ to encompass Greater London. The Mayor has emphasised that he regards the initiative as the single best way to tackle air pollution in the capital.

That’s not to say, of course, that other initiatives aren’t being considered. A much more long-term policy could see drivers charged per mile driven; with those in more polluting vehicles paying higher rates. Charges may also vary based on congestion and the availability of public transport. Whilst the Mayor believes this would be a fairer system, he’s stated that he favors more immediate solutions over more time-consuming alternatives.

Like other major cities around the world, London has a serious air pollution problem. Given the broadening Climate Crisis, this is a disaster in of itself. But it also poses a major health hazard for residents. A recent study revealed that all of the city’s medical facilities exceed the World Health Organisation’s guidelines for both nitrogen dioxide and particulate levels.

‘Social Justice’

For the Mayor, tackling air pollution is simply a matter of social justice. He said, “with air pollution hitting the poorest communities the hardest. Nearly half of Londoners don’t own a car, but they are disproportionately feeling the damaging consequences polluting vehicles are causing”.

He emphasised the costs of inaction, stating that “if no additional action is taken to reduce air pollution beyond the existing policies, around 550,000 Londoners would develop diseases attributable to air pollution over the next 30 years and the cumulative cost to the NHS and the social care system is estimated to be £10.4 billion”.

Nevertheless, the ULEZ isn’t without its critics. Indeed, some commentators have suggested that the only real affect is that some of the poorest motorists are simply priced off of the road; leaving some without a means of travel that they’re dependent upon.

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