Council encourages people to have their say on ULEZ expansion plans
Wednesday 29 June 2022: Hillingdon Council is encouraging residents, and those who work and travel through the borough, to respond to the Mayor of London's consultation on the expansion of the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) to all of Greater London including Hillingdon. This consultation is open until Friday 29 July.
The council is submitting its own response to the consultation opposing the extension of the zone.
The proposal would impact those least able to replace older, non-compliant cars adding to their financial worry at a time when wages are not keeping up with price. For those that cannot afford a new car their mobility will be taken away as Hillingdon does not have the public transport services of central London.
The council is also very concerned at the damage this proposal would cause to local businesses and services. Not only would it deter shoppers from neighbouring areas, local employers, including the council, rely on a wide catchment of valued workforces which live in neighbouring counties. These workers could face a daily charge just for entering the borough which would greatly harm local recruitment and retention of staff: our public services would likely suffer as a result.
The council recognises the harm poor air quality can have on residents, but also recognises that the impacts are not boroughwide. For example, the rural area of Harefield cannot be compared with the problems associated with the TfL-controlled roads serving Heathrow Airport.
Applying one solution to the whole of London as if it suffers equally distracts from targeted and meaningful action that would have a more purposeful impact. The Mayor of London should be considering more targeted action in areas that do suffer from poor air quality as opposed to penalising those in areas not impacted by poor air quality.
The Leader of Hillingdon Council, Cllr Ian Edwards, said: "We are vehemently opposed to this hare-brained plan.
"Imposing the ULEZ charge in Hillingdon will financially hurt many of our residents and it is likely to do damage to our businesses and services.
"London cannot be treated with a one-size-fits-all approach when the make-up of inner boroughs is incredibly different to those of outer boroughs like ours.
"The irony is that when there are spikes in air quality in Hillingdon, most of them are linked either to Heathrow or the major arterial roads, the controls of which are under others, including the Mayor, and over which the council has no say. We believe the extension of the zone is a lazy distraction from better targeted interventions and it is more about raising money than it is about anything else.
"I urge people to have their say before the end of July to ensure their voices are heard."