With the Ultra Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ) scheme set to be expanded and come into force in Ealing and all of London on 29 August 2023, Ealing Council Leader Councillor Peter Mason and Deirdre Costigan, Deputy Leader of the Council & Cabinet Member for Climate Action have written to Mayor of London Sadiq Khan to extend the criteria for the scrappage scheme and also who is eligible to be exempt.
In the open letter from Labour-run Ealing Council to the Labour Mayor of London, Councillors Mason and Costigan write of their full support for having ULEZ but are calling on the Mayor to make changes for the eligibility for those who don’t meet the current criteria. In the letter, they say:
“In recent weeks we have heard from constituents who welcome the largest-ever scrappage scheme but do not currently meet the criteria. These include parents who need support to make the switch for their family car, small businesses and organisations which have booked a retrofit, but which may be completed just after the ULEZ expansion date of 29 August 2023, and small businesses are doing the right thing by providing local employment but do not currently meet the scrappage criteria.”
“So, we ask you to consider a review of the current criteria for the scrappage scheme, to look at ways of widening the eligibility to include the following areas:
• Enabling more small businesses to fit the eligibility criteria.
• Reviewing the grace period for drivers who have booked a retrofit for their van.
• Widening the eligibility criteria to provide further support for parents and carers, many of whom work in jobs that keep our capital city going.”
In a response to the letter, Ealing Liberal Democrat Leader of the Opposition Councillor Gary Malcolm and Deputy Leader Councillor Gary Busuttil say they “welcome” the news of the letter from Ealing Council.
Councillors Malcolm and Busuttil write:
“It has been welcome news to hear today that Ealing Labour has finally changed its stance on the ULEZ scrappage scheme by following the London Liberal Democrat policy to ask the London Labour Mayor to extend it.
Outer London residents, including those in Ealing – such as carers, the disabled, or rely on their vehicle to work – find the ULEZ scrappage scheme insufficient, and the implementation rushed.
With the bus cuts to the 427 route, ULEZ has been a financial burden and effectively a tax on the poorest and most vulnerable in society without scrappage scheme offered to every vehicle in London to replace one with a like-for-like function and capacity.”
Speak to EALING.NEWS, Councillor Malcolm said: “Ealing Liberal Democrats are glad that Ealing Labour back tracked and have joined the Lib Dems across London campaigning for a proper scrappage scheme. We await to see whether the Mayor of London listens to this growing opposition to the current unfair scrappage scheme.”