Mon 09 Jul 2018
Conservative Member for Highlands Ward
The Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) will be introduced in central London from 8 April 2019 and follows the boundaries of the Congestion Charge Zone. This means that vehicles will need to meet the new, tighter exhaust emission standards or pay a £12.50 daily charge to travel within the area of the ULEZ.
You are probably thinking how does this affect Enfield exactly? Well, the Mayor of London has announced he will extend the ULEZ boundary in 2021 to the North Circular Road. The extension of the ULEZ means that part of our borough will be within the zone and a large part will not be. Residents who live within the zone will be charged £12.50 for using their cars if they are not compliant. For those residents who live outside of the zone who must cross the North Circular every day for work, shopping or dropping their children off to school, they will be subjected to the £12.50 daily charge if their cars are non-compliant.
The Mayor’s plan to make the North Circular Road the ULEZ boundary is well-intentioned as it is to improve air quality and cleaning up our air is something that has cross party agreement. However, the ULEZ extension policy has everyday consequences for Enfield residents if they need to visit the North Middlesex Hospital. The location of North Middlesex Hospital means that to access it you must cross the North Circular Road. As a result of this policy residents who need to visit the hospital whose cars are not compliant will be charged £12.50.
There seems to be a general expectation at the moment that residents will just buy newer cleaner vehicles by 2021 thereby lessening any impact the expansion might cause but it is not always that easy. Families on low or fixed incomes might not be able to afford to upgrade their vehicles and it will be those families who will likely be financially impacted the most when they cross the North Circular Road to access vital services.
Enfield Council has a role to play by speaking loudly about the consequences of the ULEZ extension. The carving up of our borough into those areas within the zone and out of it is not good for Enfield. Enfield Council should lobby for improvements so that we have low emission bus routes on our worst roads for air quality and more zero emission hydrogen buses on other routes faster. Buses cause a third of vehicle emissions so a cleaner fleet on the streets of Enfield would have a real impact on improving our air quality. We also need to get involved with schemes that will deliver more electric charging points so it will make it more attractive to buy electric vehicles.
Residents need to know about the ULEZ extension and how it affects them. Find out more about the plans on London.gov.uk
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