The mayor of London has received support from the London Assembly for his "very controversial" proposed extension of the Ultra Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ). 

Assembly members voted on Thursday (November 17) on a proposed addition to the mayor’s transport strategy that includes initiatives including extending the £12.50-a-day ULEZ London-wide.

While it is not a decision on whether to expand the ULEZ, Deputy mayor for transport Seb Dance said it does lay the policy framework.

Mr Dance said the update to the 2018 strategy was aimed at tackling the “triple challenges” of toxic air pollution, the climate emergency and road congestion.

Despite passing in the Labour-majority assembly, concerns were aired regarding the potential expansion of the zone, within which drivers of vehicles that don't meet emissions standards must pay a £12.50 daily charge.

Nick Rogers, Conservative member for Hounslow, Kingston upon Thames and Richmond upon Thames, said the mayor was asking for a “seal of approval” for some “very controversial policies that would have a negative financial impact on thousands of Londoners and small businesses across the city”. 

Others, such as Nick Garratt, Conservative member for Croydon and Sutton, questioned the mayor’s presentation of the potential benefits to rolling out the ULEZ to greater London. 

Romford Recorder: The area currently covered by the ULEZ following last year's expansion to include inner LondonThe area currently covered by the ULEZ following last year's expansion to include inner London (Image: TfL)

According to Greater London Authority (GLA) data, traffic emissions are resulting in nearly 4,000 premature deaths a year, with outer London boroughs recording the highest number attributable to air pollution. 

Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, told Assembly Members it is important to face to up to the reality of the air quality in London, saying: “How many Londoners realise that the air is dangerous? How many people realise that you can’t see this stuff, it’s poisonous?” 

The mayor is due to make a decision on whether to expand the ULEZ by the end of the year. 

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