Buckinghamshire Council is calling for the planned extension of the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) in London to be scrapped.
Steven Broadbent, Cabinet Member for Transport at Buckinghamshire Council, wrote to the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan in 2022 to express concerns over the proposals. Since then, the expansion plans have been approved by Transport for London (TfL) and are due to come into effect from the end of August 2023, prompting Buckinghamshire Council to contact the Mayor of London once again.
Concerned about the impact the extension of the scheme will have locally, Buckinghamshire Council is calling for the proposals to be reconsidered or scrapped altogether.
Once of the council’s main concerns is the cost implications for the many residents who commute into the Greater London area, particularly at a time when other cost of living pressures are already having a serious impact on people’s lives.
If the ULEZ is to be expanded, Buckinghamshire Council would like to see:
- An extension of the scrappage scheme being given to those living in London so people and businesses within Buckinghamshire are given the same benefits and incentives for upgrading their vehicles to cleaner models.
- Coordination with neighbouring local authorities to expand and improve public transport options and improve active travel routes between Greater London and Buckinghamshire.
- A commitment that a proportion of the revenue from the extended ULEZ would be reinvested, to support the improvement of public transport and active travel options into and out of London.
- Highlighting alternative transport options available directly to Buckinghamshire residents.
Steven Broadbent said: ‘We support intentions to improve air quality and reduce carbon emissions and have our own strong plan to achieve this, but we don’t believe this is being carried out in the right way through the ULEZ expansion proposal and we have serious concerns about the impacts this expansion will have on both our residents and our roads.
We believe that any development of the scheme must only be considered in tandem with enhanced provision and improvements to alternative transport options and full consideration being given to the knock-on effects any changes will have on the wider area.
We are also concerned about the potential increased number of vehicles redirecting onto our local roads to avoid entering the ULEZ. Not only does this impact on traffic and road surfaces, it also has the potential to see more polluting vehicles travelling on our roads, worsening air quality for our residents.
Buckinghamshire residents are being expected to absorb the adverse impacts of the scheme without any financial support or assistance from TfL. This is unacceptable.
The consultation exercises you have undertaken have shown that communities in London do not want this scheme and the same is true for Buckinghamshire. I urge you to reconsider your proposals and scrap the proposed ULEZ expansion.
Alongside a number of local authorities in Greater London and the home counties, Buckinghamshire Council is refusing to sign an agreement to allow TfL to install street signs and cameras along its highways in order to enforce the expanded Ultra Low Emission Zone.
We have written to the Mayor of London outlining our concerns but have yet to receive a response or any sign that the matters we have raised are being addressed.‘
Buckinghamshire Council is asking the Mayor of London and Transport for London to urgently reconsider their plans.
*Source of information : Press release from Buckinghamshire Council.