The man who introduced the original Ultra Low Emission Zone in central London has criticised the “sheer bone-headed cruelty” of the schemes expansion to the whole of London.
Writing in the Daily Mail, the former London Mayor and Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the tax is “so unpopular, so odious — so transparently wrong and unnecessary — that the very people who are meant to be explaining and supporting the impost are bereft of speech, or reduced to babble, until with dry mouths and thudding hearts they flee the TV studio in a state of total intellectual humiliation.”
He writes that that is what happened in the late 1980s to members of Mrs Thatcher’s Cabinet, when they were asked to defend the poll tax, and is happening now with ULEZ.
Mr Johnson, who is standing down as MP for Uxbridge after an investigation into the “Partygate” scandal commented this week, the Labour Party candidate has “performed a spectacular personal implosion”, writing “Exhausted by trying to explain the ULEZ, and unable to answer the arguments of the innocent motorists he was meeting in his campaign — he welshed on Khan. He ratted on official Labour policy, and announced that now was not the time to impose the driving tax.”
He adds that “the whole point about the ULEZ was that it was intended for the centre of the city, where emissions are worst; and when we conceived of it — under the last Conservative mayor — it was part of a package of measures that were extremely effective in reducing pollution in London. We reduced NOX by 20 per cent and PM 10s and PM 2.5s by about 15 per cent.
“But it never occurred to us to impose the ULEZ on the whole city, because — as Khan has now discovered — there are vast tracts of London where it is simply the wrong tool.”
You can read the article here.
(Picture – Highways News)