A Havering campaign group has praised the forthcoming ULEZ extension as a means of cutting vehicle emissions – but said more investment in walking, cycling and public transport is necessary. 

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan announced last month that the ultra-low emission zone (ULEZ) would be extended to incorporate the whole of greater London. 

From August 29 next year, any vehicles that are not compliant will be liable for the daily £12.50 fee. 

A spokesperson for the mayor said it was “not an easy decision”, but described it as a “necessary one to reduce the capital’s toxic air pollution”. 

“This is a very targeted scheme to get the most polluting vehicles off the roads,” they said.  

Havering MPs and Havering Council have both publicly objected to the extension, with the Labour MP for Dagenham and Rainham, Jon Cruddas, saying he is "deeply disappointed" by the decision.

Romford Recorder: The expanded map of the ULEZ across LondonThe expanded map of the ULEZ across London (Image: Transport for London)

Mark Philpotts, co-ordinator at Better Streets for Havering, is one of those locally to have come out in favour for the ULEZ extension, arguing it will be essential to cleaning up the borough’s air. 

Mr Philpotts said: “The ULEZ is an important tool for influencing travel choice generally and motor vehicle choice specifically, and the expansion will have influence beyond the London boundary to manage the type of motor vehicles being brought into Havering through Essex as has been the case with schemes such as the original Low Emission Zone and the Safer Lorry Scheme.”  

Mr Philpotts added this is especially important due to major local projects including the Lower Thames Crossing and Junction 28 on the A12

While the ULEZ can only be “part of the solution”, Mr Philpotts said it will help generate investment for alternative transport in the interim. 

However, he warned that what is needed “in the long term” is a "significant reduction in driven miles”. 

“This must mean that individual boroughs like Havering must invest in measures to enable more citizens to walk, cycle and take public transport for more trips,” he said. 

City Hall told the Recorder that while it does not provide a borough-by-borough breakdown, it estimates that 85 per cent of vehicles in outer London are already ULEZ-compliant. 

For those that are not, the mayor has announced a £110 million scrappage scheme, with plans to also improve the bus network, including the links between Harold Hill and Upminster. 

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