‘It’s not about air quality, it’s about raising money!’: Transport Secretary slams Sadiq…

29 August 2023, 05:29 | Updated: 29 August 2023, 08:15

Transport Secretary Mark Harper (archive picture) slammed Sadiq Khan’s controversial Ulez growth.


Transport Secretary Mark Harper has slammed Sadiq Khan’s controversial Ulez growth, labelling it a money seize from “hard-pressed Londonders”.

From at the moment, drivers getting into any a part of the capital might want to pay £12.50 Ulez cost day-after-day if their automotive does not meet emission requirements.

The Mayor of London insists it’s wanted to wash up town’s air and keep away from untimely deaths however critics say it clobbers motorists who already face hefty prices.

That consists of Mr Harper, who mentioned the federal government has “carefully” checked out blocking the growth however conceded it was a call for Mr Khan.

“I don’t have the powers to block it, this is a decision for the Mayor of London,” Mr Harper instructed LBC’s Nick Ferrari at Breakfast.

“[Mr Khan] says he’s doing air high quality causes however for those who have a look at his personal affect evaluation, it makes it clear it’ll solely have a minor to negligible impact on air high quality.

“It’s not about air high quality, it’s about raising cash from hard-pressed Londoners and that’s the reason we don’t help it. But we don’t have the ability to dam it.”

Watch Again: Nick Ferrari is joined by Transport Secretary Mark Harper | 28/08/23

Meanwhile six out of seven counties neighbouring London have refused to place up Ulez warning indicators, regardless of Sadiq Khan’s controversial scheme increasing to cowl all of London from at the moment.

That consists of Kent, Hertfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Essex, and Thurrock. Only Slough has reached an settlement with TfL.

Mr Harper mentioned this was their choice, even supposing it might imply some drivers are unaware they’re about to enter the Ulez.

Drivers who do not pay the £12.50 charge shall be despatched a £180 high-quality, diminished to £90 if paid inside 14 days.

Khan has ploughed on with Ulez's expansion
Khan has ploughed on with Ulez’s growth.


Speaking as Ulez rolled out throughout town, Mr Khan mentioned: “This is a landmark day for our metropolis which is able to result in a greener, more healthy London for everybody. The choice to increase the ULEZ London-wide was a tough one, however needed to avoid wasting lives, shield kids’s lungs and assist forestall bronchial asthma, dementia and different well being points.

“All the proof reveals that it’s clear air zones like ULEZ which are the game-changer in a metropolis like London relating to slicing poisonous air shortly and meaningfully to guard individuals’s well being. It’s because of the ULEZ that we are actually set to get London’s air to inside authorized limits within the subsequent couple of years, 184 years sooner than beforehand projected.”

It has additionally triggered a battle inside Labour, as Sir Keir Starmer warned in opposition to imposing environmental insurance policies that hit the worst-off within the wake of a by-election defeat to the Tories.

Rishi Sunak’s social gathering managed to cling onto Boris Johnson’s previous seat of Uxbridge and Ruislip regardless of a nationwide swing away from the Conservatives after they turned that marketing campaign right into a referendum on Ulez.

Read extra: ‘It’s an expense too many’: Labour shadow minister assaults Ulez the day earlier than growth comes into power

And on Tuesday, Labour’s shadow minister for employment rights mentioned it might be an “expense too many” given the price of dwelling disaster.

“I feel he most likely must be listening to a few of the callers you have been having on and the way it’s affecting them, and suppose about whether or not this actually is the correct time to be going forward with it,” Justin Madders instructed LBC.

“We know there’s a massive cost of living crisis at the moment, and asking people to shell out thousands to buy new vehicles or pay £12.50 every day is just an expense too many at this time.”

The Ulez scheme makes use of cameras to detect the quantity plates of vehicles and sends drivers a cost if their automobile would not meet its necessities.

It beforehand solely lined all areas inside the North and South Circular Roads, however will now cowl areas in outer London, corresponding to Kingston upon Thames, Croydon and Barnet.

Read extra: Khan’s subsequent Ulez? London mayor ‘mulls pay-per-mile street tax’ utilizing emission zone cameras

Ulez is expanding to cover all of London
Ulez is increasing to cowl all of London.


Khan has argued it’s needed for well being and written off his critics as conspiracy theorists.

“I didn’t expect for there to be people linking my policies to cleaning up the air with conspiracy theories,” he instructed LBC beforehand.

“I did expect people to have genuine concerns, and I have been listening to those genuine concerns.”

Opponents are furious with the expansion
Opponents are livid with the growth.


He has earmarked tens of tens of millions to assist increase a scrappage scheme that may enable Londoners, charities and companies to place cash in direction of a brand new automotive if theirs is not compliant.

The mayor’s workplace mentioned: “There have already been more than 15,000 applications received since 21 August, and nearly £6m of new funds committed to Londoners. The number of scrappage applications for cars and motorcycles since 21 August is up more than 1,000 per cent on the previous week.”

More than 14,000 functions have been accredited as £60m was dedicated to assist scrappages.

Everyone within the capital whose automotive does not meet emissions requirements shall be eligible for a £2,000 grant from August 21.

Small companies and sole merchants will have the ability to declare as much as £21,000 to scrap as many as three vans and get them changed.

The scheme has been expanded to cover all of London
The scheme has been expanded to cowl all of London.


Charities can stand up to £27,000 to scrap three minibuses as City Hall hailed “the most generous scrappage scheme ever seen in the UK”.

But regardless of mounting opposition, together with opponents who’ve gone out to tear down cameras and neighbouring Tory councils who refuse to permit Ulez indicators to be put up of their areas, Khan has ploughed on.

Cameras have even wanted to be armoured as much as cease them being broken.

A complete of 288 crimes associated to Ulez cameras have been recorded by the Met, together with 185 situations of cables being broken, 164 cameras being stolen and 38 reviews of the gadgets getting obscured.

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