Mayor’s clean air plan doesn’t go far enough, says Council

Release Date: 11 June 2018

A plan to introduce a new Ultra Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ) across the Capital does not do enough to tackle vehicle pollution, says Richmond Council.

On Friday, the Mayor of London confirmed that his proposed ULEZ would be expanded up to the North and South Circular boundary in 2021.

Similarly to the existing central London zone, the extension will result in drivers who use non-compliant vehicles paying a daily charge of £12.50.

The aim of the extension is to attempt to reduce toxic air quality across the Capital. However, Richmond Council believes that these plans need to be more ambitious. The extension needs to stretch as far as the M25 to clamp down on polluting vehicles travelling into London.

In addition, in Richmond upon Thames, the ULEZ would split the town centre of East Sheen and would require many residents, whose vehicles do not meet the ULEZ standards, having to pay to visit the Townmead Depot. Richmond Council is concerned that such changes could see an increase in fly-tipping across the borough. 

In addition, the borough’s only crematorium in Mortlake would fall inside the zone.

Cllr Alexander Ehmann, Richmond Council Cabinet Member for Highways and Air Quality, said:

“Tackling air quality in the borough is one of our top priorities. However, this extension of the ULEZ only helps part of the borough and could cause immeasurable problems for the remainder of our residents.

“The only acceptable decision for Richmond is total ULEZ coverage of the whole Borough. The Mayor has heard the arguments that the ULEZ should extend all the way to the M25 and it is disappointing that he chose not to be this bold.  An extension to the M25 would have avoided a ‘hard border’ for the ULEZ in the middle of our borough.

“If unchanged, the Mayor’s present plan will only displace the traffic trying to avoid the boundaries and could increase poor air quality in areas outside the zone, some of which are already exceeding legal limits for pollution.

“I urge the Mayor of London not to waste this opportunity and to consider a further expansion of the air quality zone that will benefit the whole of London, and not divide our borough with an air quality border.

“That is why I am writing to the Mayor of London to ask him to reconsider his plans and to encourage him consider a larger extension to the air quality zone that will benefit the whole of London, the whole of Richmond upon Thames and not divide our community with a damaging and artificial air quality border.”

Notes for editors

If you are a journalist and would like further information about this press release, contact Elinor Firth on 020 8487 5159.

Reference: P291/18

Updated: 28 June 2018