Sutton Council responds to Mayor of London’s latest ULEZ announcement as Merton Council announces scrappage scheme

The ‘last minute’ changes to ULEZ plans are unhelpful, according to the Leader of Sutton Council, who has been responding to the Mayor of London’s latest announcement about the scheme.

Commenting on the Mayor of London’s decision to increase the funding available for the ULEZ scrappage scheme, Councillor Ruth Dombey, Leader of Sutton Council, said:“We have been calling for the scrappage scheme to be expanded for over a year now. It’s a shame it has taken so long to get to this point. 

“With less than a month before the ULEZ expansion starts, these last minute changes do not give people enough time to change their vehicle. This is why we are repeating our calls for the Mayor of London to delay the expansion. Just because ULEZ is legal doesn’t make it fair.
“This new funding also does nothing to help people and businesses outside London who need to come to boroughs like Sutton to work or see family or friends. 

“Now the Mayor needs to listen to our other calls: to delay the expansion of ULEZ until the cost of living crisis is over and to improve public transport in Sutton.” 

Also this week, Merton Council will launch a £1 million local vehicle scrappage scheme in September, subject to Cabinet approval, to help people who need to swap their high-polluting car for a sustainable alternative, but are struggling with the cost of living crisis.

A £1000 grant per vehicle will be available to help the poorest areas in our community that are not well connected by public transport, provided their car meets the Transport for London (TfL) scrappage criteria. The grant will also be available for our hardworking carers.

According to TfL, over 90% of cars driving in Outer London meet the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) standards. But for those that don’t meet the standards, financial support is needed.

The council is clear that this support should be provided by the government in Westminster – as they have done elsewhere – but they have so far refused. Despite this lack of support, the Mayor of London has launched a city-wide scrappage scheme, and now Merton Council is launching their own expanded support to help people in our borough who rely on cars to get around.

This initiative is the latest from Merton Council aimed at supporting people through the cost of living crisis – which remains the biggest challenge facing households in the borough. At the budget earlier this year, the Council committed to investing £22 million into providing support for residents, including a dedicated £2 million cost of living fund.

Merton’s local scrappage scheme will be open to people regardless of whether they have applied to the existing TfL scheme. Applications to the fund will be on a first-come-first-served basis, and take-up figures will be published so as many people as possible have a chance to apply.

The scheme is set to launch in September, and more details on eligibility and how to apply will follow soon.

“Merton Council is launching a £1 million local scrappage scheme to provide additional help to the poorest in our community that are not well connected by public transport, during this cost of living crisis. We’re also determined to help our hardworking carers to continue the invaluable work they do.” said Councillor Ross Garrod, Leader of Merton Council.

“We need to clean up the air we breathe and part of the solution to that is moving away from using high polluting vehicles. But the cost of living crisis isn’t going away, and the government is refusing to provide the support needed to help people scrap their cars – that’s why we are stepping in to provide this targeted support.”

Councillor Stephen Alambritis, Cabinet Member for Transport added: “This scheme is the latest example of the great progress we are making in helping people choose sustainable alternatives for travelling around. In the first twelve months of this Administration, we’ve brought e-bikes to the borough, campaigned for better bus connectivity, and installed hundreds of Electric Vehicle charging points so you’re only a few minutes’ walk from one anywhere in the borough.”


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