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London Assembly calls on mayor to introduce ULEZ by 2018

Date: 29 July 2016   |   Author: Daniel Puddicombe

The London Assembly has called on the mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, to introduce the city's Ultra-Low Emission Zone in 2018, a year earlier than planned.

Responding to the mayor's public consultation on his air pollution action plan, the group - which is elected to scrutinise and hold the mayor to account - said Khan's "prompt action" has been "warmly received".

The Assembly advised the mayor to introduce the ULEZ from 2018, or the beginning of 2019, ahead of its planned September 2019 roll-out. Under previous mayor, Boris Johnson, the green zone was set to be introduced in September 2020.

A proposal by the mayor to expand the ULEZ beyond its central London area was also welcomed by the body, but it argued a larger boundary than the proposed North and South Circular roads limit may be required, suggesting the ULEZ should cover all of London - including "pollution hotspots" in outer London, such as Heathrow - by 2020.

It also called on the mayor make the 'T-Charge' - which, from next year if approved, would charge users of 'dirty' vehicles £10 a day to go into central London on top of the Congestion Charge - applicable to vehicles fitted with Euro 5 and older engines, rather than the proposed Euro 4 standard proposal. The group also proposed ending the T-Charge when the ULEZ is introduced.

The committee joined the mayor in calling on the Government to "urgently take forward" plans for a diesel vehicle scrapage scheme, but said the project would need to encourage users to switch to walking or cycling or cleaner vehicles, such as EVs, rather than newer diesels.

Other diesel trade-in incentives mooted included vouchers for sustainable travel options.

Meanwhile, the Assembly welcomed a target set by Khan for half of all car club vehicles to be electric and a promise to install 1000 new charging points, but said that 2020 would be a more suitable target date than 2025.

"Finding ways to make car clubs less polluting and more convenient to use will be crucial to them developing a larger share of the transport market," Leonie Cooper, chair of the environment committee said in a letter sent to Khan which was obtained by BusinessCar.