A plumber from North London called the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) extension “the biggest scandal of century” as he claimed it will cripple his business. Mayor of London Sadiq Khan plans to extend the ULEZ to all London boroughs from August 29.
Eric from Enfield said it is “unsustainable” for him to pay the £12.50 ULEZ charge when he’s carrying out £30 to £40 plumbing jobs. Speaking to Nick Ferrari on LBC, he said: “He’s absolutely ruined my business 30 per cent while introducing ULEZ, and now he’s heading to ruin my business 100 per cent!”
The tradesman explained that he has just finishing paying for a van which is “hardly worth anything now” and said there are very few ULEZ compliant vans on the market. He claimed that leasing a ULEZ compliant van would cost nearly £500 and that buying one with good mileage outright would cost £15,000.
Asked if he cares about his grandchildren having cleaner air, Eric told LBC: “It’s a load of rubbish, it’s all to do with money! He’s killing tradesmen like me.”
He added: “I’ve been a long-time Labour supporter. I will never ever vote for Labour because of Sadiq Khan, what he has done.”
A spokesman for Mr Khan has defended the expansion of the scheme. He said: “The mayor has been clear that the decision to expand the Ultra Low Emission Zone London-wide was one of the hardest he’s had to make, but with around 4,000 Londoners still dying from toxic air it was a necessary one.”
City Hall says the expansion is a result of research which shows that ULEZ so far has helped reduce roadside pollution levels by 44 per cent in central London and 20 per cent in Inner London.
Mr Khan wants Outer Londoners to feel its purported benefits too as he says: “The 10 boroughs with the largest number of premature deaths per year [due to poor air quality] are all in Outer London: Bromley 204, Barnet 201, Croydon 196, Havering 178, Ealing 165, Enfield 164, Bexley 162, Hillingdon 155, Brent 149 and Redbridge 142.
“These are people, these are families who are grieving at the loss of a loved one and I think doing nothing is not an option for me.”
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