ULEZ: Thousands sign petition opposing proposed expansion and to 'give people a say'

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan announced plans for an expanded Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) to the edges of Greater London

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan announced plans for an expanded Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) extending to the edges of Greater London - Credit: PA

A petition challenging the proposed Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) expansion has garnered nearly 2,000 signatures in just over two weeks.

The mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, recently announced (March 4) that he has asked Transport for London (TfL) to consult on whether to expand the current ULEZ zone in 2023

If approved, it would mean drivers as far out as Havering would have to pay the £12.50 daily charge for non-compliant vehicles. 

A spokesperson for the mayor said over four fifths of drivers in outer London already have cars that are ULEZ compliant.

Data from City Hall has recently shown that toxic air is reducing far slower in outer London, with Havering among the boroughs with the highest number of air pollution deaths in 2019. 

Grant MacMaster, a candidate for the Independent Harold Hill Residents’ Association at the council elections in May, described the mayor’s approach as “not exactly the best way”. 

Grant MacMaster, a candidate for the Independent Harold Hill Residents’ Association at the council elections in May

Grant MacMaster started the petition against the ULEZ expanding to Havering - Credit: Grant MacMaster

His petition was started with the intention of giving Havering people "a say", as “sometimes it feels like we are not always listened to”.

Havering lacks some infrastructure that central London boroughs benefit from, he claims, leaving many people forced to drive. 

Grant suggested a levy on big organisations would be a better approach: “I think the mayor should focus on businesses and focus on those real polluters."

Most Read

Havering Council leader, Damian White, said the local authority will “not be supporting this proposed increase”, claiming it would “penalise boroughs such as Havering, which has low public transport investment with a lack of decent TfL busses and routes”. 

The result, he said, is the ULEZ "would make travel much more expensive for residents who are already hard-pressed by rising costs”. 

Havering council leader Damian White

Damian White, leader of Havering Council - Credit: Mark Sepple / Havering Council

A spokesperson for the mayor said the expansion would only be confirmed "following public consultation and an integrated impact assessment”.    

Extinction Rebellion Havering said it wants the council to release data outlining which demographics will be hit the most in the borough. 

The group added: “A real fact of ULEZ is that it does clean up harmful pollutants in our air, and in Havering (one of the top car-owning boroughs), the pollution is appalling and toxic to every single one of us.”   

Grant said he plans on keeping the petition open until the end of April, at which point he intends on taking it to City Hall.  

View the petition at https://www.change.org/p/stop-ulez-expansion-to-havering