Concerns raised over emission zone decision

Published: Friday 8th June 18

The council’s transport spokesman has urged the Mayor of London to do more to reassure Wandsworth residents that they will not be adversely affected following today’s announcement that the expansion of the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) is to go ahead.

Cllr Jonathan Cook said tackling poor air quality is a top priority for the council and it is broadly supportive of the proposals, but issues raised by the council with the mayor about a possible negative impact on people living near the border have not been addressed.

The ULEZ means any resident or business driving inside the zone would be required to meet the latest exhaust emission standards or pay a daily charge.

The Mayor's proposed new zone and its daily tariff rate for non-compliant vehicles

Cllr Cook said: “We have said from the start, when these proposals were first mooted, that we were broadly supportive of expanding the ULEZ zone as improving air quality in Wandsworth and indeed across London, is a top priority of this council. But the expanded ULEZ will cut Wandsworth in two and our residents and businesses need to see clear mitigation plans to stop rat running and other adverse effects.

“We asked for detailed traffic modelling to show the effects on different parts of the borough, as well as modelling based on alternative scheme boundaries, but this has not been forthcoming. We feel the boundary is not in the right place, and we would ask the Mayor to engage with us in a meaningful way before imposing this major change.

“We would urge the Mayor to do much more to encourage people to shift to more sustainable modes of transport – such as following our lead to install a comprehensive electric vehicle infrastructure. We need carrots as well as sticks when it comes to making the right choices.

“We are also still waiting to hear about the cost of installing this boundary. We are not the only borough concerned about the value for money of this scheme, but we have all been ignored. And we would like to hear what the income from the scheme will go on – we would heavily push for it to be spent on improving London’s sustainable transport network.”

The Mayor announced today that the new ULEZ boundaries will come into effect in October 2021. The changes will affect anyone driving a car, van or motorcycle within a zone whose southernmost boundary is marked by the Upper Richmond Road, Wandsworth High Street, East Hill, Wandsworth Common Northside, Battersea Rise, The Avenue Clapham Common West Side and Clapham Common Southside.

Anyone driving north of these roads will need to comply with the new ULEZ regulations. The northern boundary of the ULEZ would be the North Circular Road.

Cllr Cook added: “it is clear London’s air needs to be cleaner, which is why we have put in place a string of initiatives that have already helped see an improvement in air quality in Putney and Nine Elms. We do not object in principal to the ULEZ, but I will be contacting the Mayor to seek answers to our questions”

Wandsworth’s Air Quality Action Plan sets out measures to tackle the sources of pollution - including traffic, boilers and construction - as well as education and awareness campaigns, lobbying, a borough-wide air quality monitoring programme and partnership work.

For more information about the work being carried out locally to improve air quality, visit www.wandsworth.gov.uk/airquality.

Read the Air Quality Action Plan

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Recent comments

Sorry I got the name wrong, not 'Paul A' but 'Realist'.
Mark

20 September 2018

Just a short comment on this pollution issue, the Goverment charge us the motorist for pollution, when it's them that are mostly causing it by restricting the speed of vehicles even further putting up emissions from engines, forcing vehicles to use one route, mainly main roads causing still standing traffic for longer periods of time, narrowing of roads were there were 2 lanes now just 1, all of this has been done around my area and the traffic has atleast doubled so what affect does that have on our health. Paul A is right this is just another money making scheme and making the motorist out to be the bad guy and pay. Goverments have known about pollution problems for many years and could have forced car makers to be greener much earlier.
Mark

20 September 2018

My husband is disabled and uses the car to get around. It's the only way he can get out of the house, get shopping etc and generally live as normal a life as possible. The NatWest in Southfields closed earlier this year and so we go to the one in Putney. Come 2021 the ULEZ is going to mean that every time we need to go to the bank it's going to cost us £12.50. We don't bank on-line as we don't trust technology. At the end of the day I don't think this has anything to do with "cleaner air" more a "money grabbing tax" from people who often can't afford to buy new cars (which eventually will become subject to the "tax" as it gets older. But I suppose what else should I expect from a Labour mayor!
Christine Rose

12 September 2018

Gill, my comments are negative because I genuinely believe this scheme will not actually help air quality, and is extremely unfair to boot. It is no use "doing something" if that "doing something" does not adequately tackle the problem and will cause significant hardship for some people. Do you think it is actually going to improve air quality when there is no financial penalty for drivers of newer cars to make them reduce their mileage? Do you think it is fair when a pensioner who lives 100m inside the zone (where there is no discount whatsoever) and relies on their older car as they have arthritis, and cannot afford to replace it on a low income, can no longer afford to use their car to go to the supermarket, or visit friends?
Caroline

28 June 2018

Why all the negative comments. Don’t you want to live healthier, longer lives in a clean environment under a sky that is supposed to be a deep blue rather than a murky, polluted, dirty shade. Diesel & air pollution along with plastic waste is currently a global crisis. Future generations will look back appalled at the damage we are creating. We should be ashamed.
Gill Allen

27 June 2018

Susan - if you are directing your comments at me I think you should read what I have said. I am actually advocating a much wider scheme of road pricing PER MILE on all vehicles, possibly with discounts for ultra clean ones, throughout the M25 area. The issue I have with the scheme now approved for 2021 is that it does not adequately and FAIRLY tackle the problem. My beef with it is that what Khan has proposed is an "easy/cheap to implement" solution that will actually do little to help the problem (as high mileage users of newer but still polluting cars, and taxis, don't pay a penny) but unfairly penalises those who cannot afford a newer car but need it for short journeys e.g. pensioners, or people who live just inside the zone boundary.
Caroline

22 June 2018

www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/jun/21/millions-of-british-children-breathing-toxic-air-unicef-warns Worth a read
susan lofthouse

21 June 2018

Filthy air affects everyone. Nine Ems and Lavender Hill in particular now feel as bad as they did when we were campaigning on removing lead from petrol 35 years ago. What is more important? Health? Clean air? Many people feel that the arrangements should be even stronger. If we hang around waiting while people nitpick and complain, we might as well book our hospital beds now. Come up with some positive proposals, Cllr. Cook. I, for one, am glad that the Mayor for London is doing something,
susan lofthouse

21 June 2018

Filthy air affects everyone. Nine Ems and Lavender Hill in particular now feel as bad as they did when we were campaigning on removing lead from petrol 35 years ago. What is more important? Health? Clean air? Many people feel that the arrangements should be even stronger. If we hang around waiting while people nitpick and complain, we might as well book our hospital beds now. Come up with some positive proposals, Cllr. Cook. I, for one, am glad that the Mayor for London is doing something,
susan lofthouse

21 June 2018

D-Spring - no there is not a residents' discount nor is there any sunset period where the charges are waived. Basically if you live in the zone and own a car caught by the charge you have to pay £12.50 for every day you use it, from the very first day of the scheme, even if you only drive a few hundred metres. This is one of the issues I have with the scheme along with the fact that if your neighbour owns a car that doesn't qualify they don't pay a single penny even if they do 200 miles a day in the zone. Which of those is causing the most pollution? Not the one who has to pay. It is not fair and it doesn't actually tackle the problem either. What we need is road pricing i.e. a charge per mile not an unfair and disproportionate flat rate.
Caroline

21 June 2018

So if it's REALLY about air pollution - why doesn't Khan explain via our strangely passive media why he exempts Trains, Riverbuses (and let's face it Planes), from these same emissions limits in inner London's atmos ? Don't the ordinary voting public forced to pay this tax deserve an explanation of this seemingly hypocritical policy ? Along what proportion of the daily pollution comes from those means of transport alone please Red Khan ? Further, if he's genuinely against the 3rd runway at Heathrow as he says, wasn't this his chance to force the serious issue of over-flight pollution ?
D Spring

15 June 2018

Will there be an exemption for people who live within the zone?
Paul A

13 June 2018

LISTEN PEOPLE, AT THE END OF THE DAY THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH POLLUTION, AND EVERYTHING TO DO WITH TAX AND PROFIT. WHAT EXACTLY ARE THEY DOING ABOUT POLLUTION? HOW DOES PAYING A TAX SOLVE THE ISSUE? IT DOES NOT IT IS JUST ANOTHER TAX. WAKEY WAKEY. SOON THERE WILL BE NO LIMITS TO THE THINGS THEY TAX YOU ON. AND ITS GETTING WORSE YEAR ON YEAR, POOR GET POORER (AS THIS WILL ONLY AFFECT THE POOR) RICH LOVE IT CLEARER ROADS FOR THE GAS GUZZLING MERCS AND RANGE ROVERS. WAKE UP PEOPLE.
realist

12 June 2018

Suggest: Graduated charge pd based on mileage/time spent in ULEZ; rising scale of charges for frequent users, or car usage in ULEZ will be by those able to afford new car or pay higher charge. Discourage daily car use e.g. commuting/taking children to school, encouraging cycling, walking, school (electric) bus, & BANNING drop-off zones (apart from for disabled pupils) within [500]m of schools. Removing vehicles to boundary roads of N&S Circulars needs better plan, otherwise migration of traffic creates enormous congestion/pollution to these roads, through residential areas with schools & open spaces resulting in intolerable pollution for children. Why exemption for pre-1973 vehicles, just as suitable for replacement as other vehicles?
M Percy

11 June 2018

https://tfl.gov.uk/modes/driving/ultra-low-emission-zone/vrm-checker-ulez check your car here for exemptions
keith weston

11 June 2018

I'm deeply disappointed by the mayor's decision. Whilst I am in favour of emissions charges in general this scheme is totally the wrong implementation and will not truly solve the problem, which is overall miles driven in ALL vehicles. A flat daily rate only on older cars does not tackle the air pollution issue properly as people who do high mileage in newer cars do not pay a single penny for their pollution, but is deeply unfair on those who own an older car and only drive a few miles per week in it, and lower-income households who cannot afford to replace an older car. Instead of merely questioning where the border was the council should instead have lobbied for a much more radical mileage based rate on ALL vehicles right out to the M25.
Caroline

11 June 2018

Plans to reroute traffic from East Hill to nearer the river may be thwarted.
Jocelyn Edmondstone

11 June 2018

40,000 people die per year due to air pollution. 40,000! Children are much worse affected, so much so that some schools near busy roads have cancelled outdoor play times. So get a grip Wandsworth. Encourage the ULEZ, pedestrianise high streets, build cycle lanes, and plant some trees rather than chop them down.
Thomas Corbett

10 June 2018

We paid extra to get a sub 100g CO2 diesel (Euro VI) because it was congestion charge exempt. Would have got a petrol one otherwise. Though I didn't expect the congestion charge exemption to last forever, I didn't expect an extra £12.50 daily charge because Khan thinks a diesel more than 6 years old should not be privately owned. How can this car go from encouraged to taxed off of the road in such a short period of time. It's now six years old and has done only 30k miles. What a waste. I would like to sue for damages.
Stephen Walker

10 June 2018

not sure about gift to TFL. official press release has this: All TfL buses will meet the standards by 2020. nothing on exemption for black cabs either: Disabled tax class vehicles and specially adapted private hire vehicles will have until October 2025 to comply. Charities will have a two-year sunset for minibuses until October 2023.
Mikha

10 June 2018

Sorry, but we were all encouraged to buy diesel cars by several governments & now we will be penalised for owning one of these older ones? This extension will cause collapse of 2nd hand car prices in London. Who is going to compensate us?
Guy Hill

9 June 2018

I have a 62-plate Mazda CX-5 (2.2L diesel) - heaven knows what compliance it might have. I need to drive into London from my home in Surrey to teach my musical instrument (I am one of very few teachers of this specialised instrument). If I am penalised for driving, then I'll have to give up what I do, and will be letting down youngsters and adults that have the same passion as me.
Bob

9 June 2018

Make the M25 the boundary. That'll discourage rat-runs and give us all better air.
David

9 June 2018

Surely making the Thames the border would make much more sense, in fact the whole scheme is a farce and will get Khan voted out at the next elections.
Simon

9 June 2018

To add to the comment on hypocrisy, I note that black cabs are also exempted from the charge. This is a money-making exercise, pure and simple.
Lynne Treanor

9 June 2018

I think the Council should rethink its position in this. Either air quality is a top priority of the council or it isn’t. The whole borough should be covered and we should do what we can to support the ULEZ before we all choke to death!
C john

9 June 2018

If Wandsworth doesn't want to see the borough cut in two by the ULEZ, push for the whole borough to be included. Simples! We deserve clean air down here in Tooting as much as Putney and Battersea.
Philip Bradley

8 June 2018

Khan's hypocrisy hits new heights ; gifting TFL's train's, buses and riverbuses exemption to these limits proves it is not so much about emissions, but the usual revenue raising from motorists again. No surprise he doesn't ringfence what the revenue must be spent on either.
D Spring

8 June 2018

I know the Mayor is a Labour man, but could the council for once put the politics aside and do the right thing, for the sake of our children and their lungs? The boundary is in the wrong place? If the Mayor changes the plan every time anybody says that, he'll end up with a Low Emission Zone that surrounds nothing but his own house! We have a huge problem with pollution on Putney High Street. Anything that stops the worst polluting vehicles from driving down there must surely be a good thing. No, we don't need exemptions for classic cars. Which is more important? Our children's health or someone's "right" to drive a highly-polluting vehicle, not for work or out of necessity, but purely for the pleasure of it?
Alison Price

8 June 2018

There should be an exemption for Classic Cars.
Colin Brown

8 June 2018