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