A pensioner said he would consider parking in Hertfordshire to avoid being hit with a £12.50 daily charge if London’s ULEZ is extended to the whole of the capital.
David Brand, 86, said he could be forced to take drastic action if Sadiq Khan imposes tougher emissions measures on Harrow next year.
David said that could include parking his car in Hertfordshire, which is a few yards from his home in Stanmore and would be outside the ultra-low emissions zone.
He also said he might have to get rid of his silver Vauxhall Calibra, which he’s owned for almost 20 years.
Mr Brand said: ‘This is an absolute joke. They can’t expect people to pay £12.50 a day. My pension wouldn’t cover it. It would take away my only real means of transportation. The more I think about it, the angrier I get.
“What’s stopping me from letting my car cross the border into Hertfordshire?” And if everyone does that, they’ll get pissed off, that’s understandable. So where does it stop? »
The former electrical engineer, who also volunteered for the Royal Air Force, said the plans would punish people who depend on their cars, especially the elderly and disabled. He described the potential extension as a “slap in the face” given the difficulties many are facing at the moment.
Mr Brand added: ‘You have people who can’t afford food, who can’t afford to heat their homes and now want to take another freedom away from them. What about all the vans and trucks? This will put some people out of business.
Read more: Launch of a consultation to extend ULEZ to the whole of Greater London
He acknowledged there needed to be conversations about environmental damage, but said there are other ways to address the issue without making residents pay.
Mr Brand said expanding the ULEZ would be “seriously damaging” to Mr Khan and the Labor Party.
It’s a view shared by the Tory-led Harrow Council, with some councilors suggesting it would create such a divide it would hurt Mr Khan’s re-election chances if he chooses to run in 2024.
The council last week passed a motion outlining its “strong opposition” to the plans and called on the mayor to spend the money earmarked for the extension on other environmentally friendly transport improvements.
Cllr Paul Osborn, leader of Harrow Council, said: “We are about to declare a cost of living emergency and yet we are imposing this cost on the residents of Harrow. It is not the people who can afford to change cars, it will be the poorest people and companies in difficulty who will be forced to pay this charge.
“We want to make it clear that the London Borough of Harrow opposes this and we will do everything in our power to challenge this even, if necessary, in court.”
Read more: ULEZ Expansion – see the full proposed expansion map
When he announced the consultation on the expansion project, which ended yesterday, Mr Khan said it was vital London took action to tackle climate change. He said: “The triple challenge of tackling toxic air pollution, the climate emergency and congestion means we need to further reduce vehicle emissions in London.
“We just don’t have time to waste. The climate emergency means we only have a small window of opportunity left to cut carbon emissions to help save the planet.