With the development of Ulez, Sadiq Khan claims to be on the ‘right side of history’

With the development of Ulez, Sadiq Khan claims to be on the ‘right side of history’

Sadiq Khan has expressed his belief that he will be remembered favorably when looking back on the expansion of the Ultra Low Emissions Zone (Ulez). The Mayor has defended his decision to extend the daily fee of £12.50 for older, more polluting vehicles to cover all of Greater London, asserting that he is determined to convince Londoners of the policy’s merits.

During an interview with the Sunday Times, Khan countered the government’s apparent feigned outrage over the Ulez expansion and refuted critics’ claims that the zone does not significantly enhance the city’s air quality. He emphasized that if evidence showed the Ulez to be ineffective, he would have abandoned it, highlighting his pragmatic approach.

Khan cited data indicating that the Ulez has led to an almost 50 percent reduction in toxicity levels in central London. Despite facing a low approval rating in suburban boroughs, according to recent polls, Khan is preparing for a historic third run for the mayor’s position.

An anti-Ulez rally in Tooting, south London, witnessed protesters demanding Khan’s removal from office. Attendees, including individuals opposed to the expansion, voiced concerns over the Ulez’s motives. Retired financial planner Warren Stephens, whose Ulez-compliant car allows him to drive without incurring the fee, criticized the policy as centered around financial gain and control.

City Hall countered this perspective by pointing out that most vehicles in outer London already meet Ulez standards. They also highlighted a £160 million scrappage scheme that offers grants for residents, small businesses, sole traders, and charities to switch to compliant vehicles.

Ministers decided not to employ legal powers to override the expansion, citing its inconsistency with national policies. The Department for Transport emphasized that the Mayor needs to justify the Ulez expansion, particularly considering the government’s efforts to support people’s cost of living. They noted that the Mayor is accountable for explaining whether charging non-compliant vehicle owners £12.50 each time they drive in London is equitable.

World News

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