Sadiq Khan suffers a major blow as borough opposes ULEZ expansion

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Croydon Council will “do everything it can” to resist the rollout of Transport for London (TfL) traffic cameras as the Ultra-low Emission Zone is expanded to cover the whole of London, the borough’s mayor has said. It comes as the South London council has joined with other outer London boroughs to explore what legal action it could take against Transport for London’s £12.50 daily charge for some drivers.

In a statement, Mayor of Croydon Jason Perry said: “I have been clear from the start that Croydon Council strongly opposes Sadiq Khan’s plan to expand the Ultra-Low Emission Zone.

“Khan’s plan will not only force hundreds of Croydon residents to pay £12.50 a day just to drive their car, but his own studies show it will have very little environmental impact.

“For many Croydonians, their car is the only reliable option to get around given the reduced public transport options compared with inner London.

“Punishing those who cannot afford to buy a more modern vehicle is deeply unfair and out of touch, particularly at a time when the cost of living is increasing.

“Alongside other outer London authorities, Croydon is exploring options to legally challenge this flawed expansion.

“We will also be resisting attempts by TfL to use our lampposts and street furniture for ULEZ signage and cameras.

“Sadiq Khan should listen to Londoners, rethink this flawed policy and instead invest in improving the public transport network in outer London to make it easier for local people to make more sustainable transport choices.”

TfL only owns around five percent of the capital’s road network, the majority is owned by local councils, according to MyLondon. 

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This means that if Sadiq Khan wants to install the 2,750 cameras needed for the expansion of ULEZ, individual boroughs will need to give permission for them to be installed.

Mr Perry added: “In Croydon, the proposal doesn’t even improve the air quality by any great degree.

“The Mayor of London wants to charge people but is not offering any alternatives.

“We will resist TfL using our infrastructure but I am mindful that the mayor does have reserved powers to do these things.

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“We will do everything we can to resist this particular policy.

“Outer boroughs are looking at a possible judicial review. I think we’ve got to do everything we can to try and stop this.

“It will impact on businesses in outer London in particular.

“I know of people who have written to me who are carers who may live just over the border who will have to pay the £12.50 every time they come to look after their relative.”

Last week, Liberal Democrat-run Sutton Council said it would not allow TfL to install the necessary cameras until changes are made to the scheme and people are given more notice to change their cars.

Conservative-led Harrow Council also said it would block the cameras this week, over “serious concerns” with the scheme.

Another three Conservative councils have also come out against the plans.

In a joint statement Hillingdon, Bexley and Bromley councils said: “Until we have seen compelling evidence to the contrary, it remains our position that this scheme will not translate successfully to outer London and the negative impact to local households and economies will far outweigh the negligible air quality benefits.”

But TfL commissioner Andy Lord has warned blocking cameras could turn those borough’s into rat-runs.

He said: “If boroughs refuse to engage and we get into a delay in one area, the risk is that those boroughs see increased traffic.”

Additional reporting by Tara O’Connor

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