Residents in two Havering parliamentary constituencies are leading calls for a referendum on the London Assembly and mayor as an online petition exceeds 30,000 signatures. 

The petition, which explicitly mentions the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) extension as a primary reason behind wanting a referendum, is aiming to get to 100,000 signatures by July 23. If it is successful, it will have to be considered for debate in parliament. 

London mayor Sadiq Khan’s plans to expand the ULEZ to incorporate outer London have come under fire from several boroughs since last year's announcement, with Harrow, Hillingdon and Croydon among those opposing it. 

According to a map showing where signatories live, Hornchurch and Upminster is the parliamentary constituency which has so far provided the most support to the petition. 

Represented by Conservative MP Julia Lopez, the constituency had, as of 1.15pm on February 7, been responsible for 884 signatures from a total of just more than 29,000. 

Romford, represented by Conservative MP Andrew Rosindell, was also sitting towards the top of the pile, with 656 signatures.  

The only other parliamentary area covering Havering, Labour MP Jon Cruddas’ constituency of Dagenham and Rainham, had provided 554. 

Romford Recorder: Julia Lopez, MP for Hornchurch and UpminsterJulia Lopez, MP for Hornchurch and Upminster (Image: Archant)

Ms Lopez said she was not surprised residents had "expressed their frustration" and signed the petition.

“The level of public transport in Havering does not allow those who rely on their vehicles simply to jump on the Tube or bus if they cannot afford to pay £12.50 daily and many who stand to be affected are not in a position to replace their vehicle," she said. 

“Mr Khan is the mayor for the whole city, including outer London, but the policies he is pursuing are leaving many residents in my constituency feeling increasingly disillusioned with and disconnected from the Greater London Authority (GLA).” 

Mr Rosindell described the petition as “clear-cut evidence that the patience of the people of Havering has run thin”.  

He added: “It is becoming increasingly apparent that Havering would greatly benefit from disassociating itself from the GLA and instead focus on its local priorities and policies.

"This would grant the borough a greater level of control over its own affairs and allow for decisions to be made that more accurately reflect the needs and interests of its residents and businesses."

Romford Recorder: Andrew Rosindell, MP for RomfordAndrew Rosindell, MP for Romford (Image: HM Govt)

A spokesperson for the mayor of London said around 4,000 Londoners die prematurely every year due to toxic air, with the greatest number of deaths attributable to air pollution in its outer boroughs. 

This includes as many as 178 in Havering every year, according to data collated by Imperial College London. 

The spokesperson added: “The mayor has listened to Londoners throughout this process and has been clear that this was not an easy decision.  

That is why he’s announced the biggest scrappage scheme yet - £110million - to help the Londoners who need it most, including charities, low income and disabled Londoners, micro-businesses and sole traders.  

To get the latest news and features direct to your inbox, sign up for our Romford Recorder newsletter here.

“This is on top of the £61m provided for previous scrappage schemes. Four out of five vehicles seen driving in outer London are already ULEZ compliant and will not need to pay the ULEZ. 

“Any money received from the scheme will be reinvested into running and improving London’s transport network, such as expanding bus routes in outer London.” 

To view the map and read the petition, visit the webpage here: