Croydon Council in south London has announced it has “clear concerns” around Transport for London’s proposed expansion of ULEZ to outer London, saying it would have a “disproportionate impact” on communities and residents.
The council’s response to TfL’s consultation on proposals to expand ULEZ to Croydon by Autumn 2023, outlines what it says are the economic pressures current plans would place on Croydon’s most vulnerable residents.
It says the fact that vehicles that do not meet the emission standard will cost families £12.50 a day to drive within the widened ULEZ, means its expansion will “disproportionately impact low income and less mobile Croydon residents”.
The consultation response also sets out opinions that the expanded ULEZ lacks necessary public transport improvements to support a large scale move away from car use.
It says Croydon declared a climate emergency in 2019, with a clear ongoing commitment to carbon neutrality and environmental protection and that the council does not dispute the need to drastically improve air quality in the capital but maintains that this could be “better achieved through improving infrastructure for public and more sustainable methods of transport”.
The response also voices concerns around TfL’s ongoing Bus Action Plan, which is set to reduce local bus services despite a greater reliance on buses in outer London.
“During a time when so many of our residents are feeling the squeeze from increasing cost of living, it is concerning that they are faced with the prospect of a £12.50 ULEZ charge for a trip to the shops,” commented Jason Perry, Executive Mayor of Croydon. “Croydon takes environmental matters seriously and we are firmly committed to improving London’s air quality, however, this should not come at a cost to families and business already struggling financially.
“There are real opportunities to continue to improve our local transport infrastructure in the immediate term, focusing on our public transport and cycle routes, as well as supporting the uptake of greener vehicles. I have urged the Mayor of London to reconsider current ULEZ expansion proposals and work with, rather than penalise, outer London boroughs like ourselves to improve sustainable transport and air quality for all.”
(Picture – Croydon Council)