Volunteers, staff and patients of a Havering hospice should be exempt from having to pay an Ultra Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ) charge, an MP has said.

Jon Cruddas, Labour MP for Dagenham and Rainham, made the plea to exclude Saint Francis Hospice from the £12.50 fee in a letter to Seb Dance, London’s deputy mayor of transport.

ULEZ was expanded to the whole of London on Tuesday (August 29) and drivers of non-compliant vehicles will be charged the daily fee to use them within the zone.

Mr Dance said Mr Cruddas' request would be “taken on board”.

READ MORE: Demonstrators in town hall ULEZ protest march

In his letter, the MP specifically referred to the hospice in Havering-atte-Bower, a village just inside the Greater London boundary where buses are the only available public transport.

According to an article on the Havering Daily website – shared on social media by Mr Cruddas – the MP told Mr Dance: “We realise this is very late in the day, but we ask that urgent consideration be given to extending the ULEZ exemptions granted to staff, volunteers and patients at St Francis Hospice and indeed other hospices in Greater London.”

Responding, the deputy mayor told the Local Democracy Reporting Service there are already “a number of schemes” which offer “additional support” to people in certain circumstances, such as the NHS reimbursement scheme.

Under that scheme, NHS patients who have been clinically assessed as too ill to travel to an appointment on public transport are generally eligible to claim back any ULEZ charge and/or congestion charge they paid from their treating hospital.

But no such measures are in place for hospices, as they are not part of the NHS.

Romford Recorder: Seb Dance, London deputy mayor for transportSeb Dance, London deputy mayor for transport (Image: LDRS)

Mr Dance said: “Of course we’ll take on board Jon’s comments, and any [other] suggestion – which we have done throughout this process.

“We’ve evolved the support structures that we’ve put [in place], through the scrappage scheme for example, and the mayor’s been very clear that we’ll continue to listen to Londoners on how we can improve the scheme.”

Mr Cruddas is one of a few Labour MPs to have stated their opposition to the ULEZ expansion, calling it “yet another unwelcome hit on working people”.

London mayor Sadiq Khan says the expansion will allow five million Londoners to breathe cleaner air, and save lives in the process.