The Conservative leader of Harrow Borough Council is warning disabled drivers have “fallen through the cracks” of London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone expansion.
Transport for London says blue badge holders need to pay the £12.50 daily low emissions charge unless their vehicle meets the scheme’s emission standards or is registered for one of the three grace periods.
Paul Osbourne has told the Daily Telegraph disabled people are “trapped in this position where they either stay at home the whole time or they have to change their car because they can’t afford the £12.50 fee.”
The report explains that people only get exemptions if they are registered as a disabled driver with the DVLA, while blue badge-holding pensioners only qualify if they are also in receipt of the “attendance allowance”, given to disabled pensioners who have required a carer for at least six months. Disabled drivers may also be exempt if they have a wheelchair-accessible vehicle or are in receipt of other disability benefits such as “Personal Independence Payment’’.
“They should just change the rules so that if you have a blue badge you are automatically exempt from Ulez because there’s no point in having a badge that lets you park anywhere if you can’t afford to drive to where you’re parking,” Mr Osborne told the Telegraph.
Meanwhile the Daily Mirror reports TfL says it may issue warning letters rather than issue fines in the early days of the expanded ULEZ, which covers the whole of London from 29 August. This coincide with the AA saying it’s “essential” that drivers are not fined “until the system beds in” across the new ULEZ areas.
(File picture – TfL)