Havering councillors called on London mayor Sadiq Khan to “stop” the Ultra Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ) expansion at an extraordinary meeting.

A motion, approved without a vote, said Havering Council recognises the “harm” road charging schemes could have on residents on low incomes, the local workforce, small businesses and charities.

It also called on Mr Khan, who controls Transport for London, to “invest” in local public transport and active travel infrastructure to give Havering residents a “real choice” between cars and other forms of transport.

Councillors from both the Havering Residents Association (HRA) and Conservative groups raised personal stories of residents or regular visitors to the borough who had written to them.

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They said many feel expanding the scheme is unfair on those who will not be able to afford the £12.50 daily charge or to change their vehicle.

Council leader Ray Morgon told the meeting the HRA has “never” supported the ULEZ expansion and argued that the borough’s air quality is “very good”.

He pointed out that although there are pollution hotspots in the borough, such as the M25, higher-polluting cars on the motorway will not be affected by the scheme.

The leader said: “We know that the air quality improvement for Havering is going to be quite marginal but we do know for many, many people the impact on their lives is going to be quite severe, whether that’s financial or equally social.”

Romford Recorder: London mayor Sadiq Khan has been urged to halt the ULEZ expansionLondon mayor Sadiq Khan has been urged to halt the ULEZ expansion (Image: Greater London Authority)

He added that his “main concern” is workers from nearby areas such as Essex who may decide that driving into Havering is “no longer worth their while”.

He said that it was “certainly the wrong time” to bring in the charge and that he originally hoped that Mr Khan would delay introducing the scheme until 2026.

Labour leader Keith Darvill’s group, who are in coalition with the HRA, appeared to oppose the Labour mayor’s policy by approving the motion to “stop the expansion of ULEZ”.

However, Cllr Darvill said it was “disappointing” that the debate lacked support for improving air quality.

He said that a road user charging scheme may be needed in the future if electric vehicles cause the government to lose income from fuel duty.

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Public consultation questions on the ULEZ expansion featured two questions about a “future road user charging scheme”, suggesting Mr Khan is seriously considering such a policy in the future.

David Taylor, who began the debate for the Conservatives, said residents are “angry” with all political groups in the town hall.

He added: “They feel let down, betrayed and they feel like they’ve been used in political games and this is not good enough.

Romford Recorder: Cllr David TaylorCllr David Taylor (Image: David Taylor)

“And they feel this for a good reason because each and every one of us could have done more to oppose the regressive, damaging dictatorial policy.

“The horse has bolted but there is a whole herd of them heading for the door and we must slam it shut."

The Conservative motion condemning the ULEZ expansion was eventually rejected by the HRA-Labour dominated council in favour of a motion calling upon the mayor to “stop” it.

The expansion came into effect on Tuesday (August 29), with Mr Khan saying the move would lead to "a greener, healthier London for everyone".