Drivers taking part in the long-running London to Brighton Mini Run have been warned that the event is in danger because of the expansion of the capital’s Ultra Low Emission Zone to cover the whole of the city, with protestors demonstrating at the event’s starting location in Cheam.
More than 2,000 of the classic vehicles, old and new, took part in the event yesterday (21 May) driving from South London to Madeira Drive in Brighton. From next year, those driving classic Minis aged less than 40 years will face up to £25 extra to take part, on top of their £40-45 admission price, if the event is licensed at all.
The campaigners handed out leaflets suggesting that, once the scheme is up and running, more vehicles will be subject to the £12.50 daily charge in order to raise revenue. They note that a compliant car with borderline emissions will be able to drive around all day free, while a car just o er the limit might only spend a few minutes driving in the zone, polluting less but having to pay.
They warn of “further restrictions on your freedom” and that the poorest in society who cannot buy a newer, compliant car, will be affected most. Previously former London mayoral candidate and the President of ITS UK, Steve Norris, called ULEZ “a tax on the poor for being poor”.
The campaigners go on to say “Once we all have compliant cars, do you think the charge will go away? No, it could lead to road pricing, 15 minute cities and further restrictions on your freedom.”
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, says the expansion of ULEZ to outer London is vital deliver cleaner air and fewer deaths, however one consultant (who remains anonymous to not risk future work) told Highways News these regular campaigns suggest that more work must be done to get that message across and convince the public it is fair and necessary and not that, as the campaigners say, the ULEZ expansion is “not about the quality of the air, but the quantity of your cash.”
(Picture – an anti-ULEZ message in a Mini taking part in the run)