Sadiq Khan 'targeting mourners' as ULEZ camera faces crematorium

EXCLUSIVE: Now Sadiq Khan is accused of targeting mourners as TfL ‘ULEZ camera’ is erected facing entrance to one of London’s largest crematoriums

  •  A new TfL ULEZ camera is to be installed 160 yards from crematorium entrance
  •  South Essex Crematorium hosted 10 cremations and burials last Friday

Sadiq Khan’s hated ULEZ scheme has been accused of targeting mourners trying to pay their last respects after work began on a camera facing the entrance to one of London’s largest crematoriums.

A new TfL camera – understood to be for ULEZ enforcement – is being installed just 160 yards from the entrance of the South Essex Crematorium near Upminster.

When Mayor Khan’s ULEZ expansion goes ahead on August 29, motorists whose cars don’t comply with new emissions standards will be forced to pay a £12.50 charge for every day they drive.

The cemetery and crematorium is just three miles inside the M25 but serves a large area of East London and Essex.

On Friday the chapel hosted 10 cremations and two burials, at least 200 people attended one in the morning with almost all arriving in private cars.

Activists protest against the expansion of ULEZ which will require all owners of non-compliant vehicles to pay a £12.50 charge every day they drive

Sadiq Khan was accused of targeting mourners as a ULEZ camera was erected facing the entrance to South Essex Crematorium

The crematorium near Upminster is one of London’s largest and sits just three miles within the M25

Lifelong Havering resident David Godwin said: ‘This is urgent, people are going to be forced to choose between paying their respects to a loved one and basic essentials like meals.

‘They have put the camera there because they know 1,000 people or more visit, there are barely any buses and the nearest station is miles away.

‘I have been contacted by people who are worried about not being able to afford to visit loved ones. This will affect people’s mental health.

‘My mother, father, grandfather two aunts and uncles are buried there so I visit often, lots of people in this area do. This is going to make things so much worse for people.’

Mr Godwin, 66, a retired currency trader who was elected to the local council last May, says if the expansion goes ahead he will be forced to move out of the area.

He said: ‘I’m at the end of the line with this, we’ve been to protest marches and they just aren’t listening.

‘It doesn’t make any sense to expand ULEZ up here, air quality in Havering is always excellent, it’s equivalent to Padstow in Cornwall.

‘All this will do is stop people coming in from Essex and Hertfordshire, harm local businesses and schools and further isolate people whose friends won’t be able to visit them.’

Mr Khan last week announced he was increasing grants for families to replace non-compliant older, larger cars with less polluting models to £2,000.

But he was criticised by Tories including Health Minister Maria Caulfield, who warned it would do little to help with the cost of a replacement.

The scheme is also only open to London residents, not to the thousands who travel into the capital every day for work.

However, speaking to LBC Mr Khan said that it was ‘nonsense’ to suggest a ULEZ-compliant car could not be bought for less than £2,000.

‘I am unwilling to delay, water down or step back from these really important measures that are going to save lives and protect lungs,’ he said.

Retired currency trader and councillor David Godwin said the ULEZ expansion would ‘harm local businesses’ and isolate people

Last month, a woman from Epping revealed she was forced to pay £17.50 ULEZ charge to attend her cousin’s funeral in London.

Jackie Cooper drove to the City of London Cemetery and Crematorium in her non-ULEZ compliant Vauxhall Corsa to say her “last goodbyes” to her cousin Keith who died on April 25.

The 58-year-old – who paid the charge through a third party which added £5 – said: “It’s heartbreaking that someone has to pay money to attend a loved one’s funeral.

‘It’s bad enough you have to go to a funeral but then you get charged for doing that.

‘It is absolutely ridiculous.

‘Why should I have to pay? We should definitely be exempt from paying especially when going to a funeral.’

A spokesman for the Mayor said: ‘Sadiq has always been clear that expanding the ULEZ to the whole of London was a difficult decision, and not one he took lightly – but it’s a decision he remains committed to seeing through.

‘He is not prepared to step back, delay or water down vital green policies like ULEZ, which will not only save lives and protect children’s lungs by cleaning up our polluted air but help us to fight the climate crisis.

‘He has continued to listen to the concerns of Londoners over recent months, and has announced a huge expansion to the scrappage scheme that means that all Londoners with non ULEZ-compliant cars will be eligible for financial support to switch to greener, less polluting vehicles.’

TfL has been approached for comment. 

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