London street split in two by ULEZ as some motorists can claim up to £7,000 for old car – while their neighbours hit out at ‘unfair’ Sadiq Khan as they are forced to pay £12.50 a day to drive or told to buy a new car
- Only some residents of Maiden Lane, Bexley, can claim scrappage cash
- Neighbours on the same street considered to be in Kent are not eligible
- ULEZ checker: Every car affected and facing charges – is YOURS compatible?
Residents of a London street divided in half by an ultra-low emission zone have slammed mayor Sadiq Khan over his ‘unfair’ scrappage scheme that will see their neighbours get up to £7,000 for their old motor while they get nothing.
Some residents of Maiden Lane in south-east London will benefit from an expansion to Mr Khan’s scrappage scheme from later this month – but only if they live in the half of the street within the London borough of Bexley.
Those who live on the other side of the divide are considered to live in the borough of Dartford in Kent, which sits outside the boundary of the capital – therefore they aren’t eligible to claim any cash for their old cars.
Mr Khan has announced that the ULEZ scrappage scheme – designed to encourage owners of older, more polluting cars and vans to ditch their vehicles for newer ones – would be expanded to cover anyone in the capital with an appropriately old motor.
But those living on the wrong side of the boundary in Maiden Lane, yards away from the impending expansion of the zone, cannot put themselves forward for the cash towards a new car – and will have to pay £12.50 a day to get to work or school.
Residents of the London borough of Bexley (in red) can claim thousands of pounds for their old car or van under the ULEZ scrappage scheme. Those on the other side of the boundary in Kent cannot claim anything – even if they live on the same street as their London neighbours
London Mayor Sadiq Khan has defended the expansion of the ultra-low emission zone to all boroughs of London. He said the decision to expand it was ‘not something I took lightly’
Thousands of ULEZ cameras like this are being rolled out across the capital as part of the expansion. It is estimated that the expansion will cost around £140 million
Local resident Helen Holland told BBC London that Mr Khan was being ‘unfair’ on those who have to drive into the capital but cannot afford to replace their vehicle, The Sun reports.
She added: ‘If your child goes to school there [within the ULEZ] and your car doesn’t comply, it’s going to cost you a fortune to take them to school.’
READ MORE: ULEZ checker: Every car affected and facing charges – is YOUR vehicle compatible?
Diesel van owner and anti-Ulez campaigner Ian Balm, 47, said: ‘It’s not on.
‘Even if you got the £7,000 scrappage scheme, it’s at least, at minimum, £15,000 for a new van.
‘I can’t afford that. I’m self-employed.’
Maiden Lane is not the first street to be impacted by expansions of the ultra-low emission zone across Britain’s capital.
We previously told how residents of streets in Greenwich and Dulwich were set to be divided by an emissions boundary when the expansion arrives.
Those living on the existing ULEZ boundary claim the zone has pushed traffic onto busier roads outside of the existing zone, such as the North Circular, sparking fears that other roads will be similarly affected come the end of August.
The expansion of the ULEZ zone, which comes into effect on August 29, has been slammed by motorists who say the policy is discriminating against people who cannot afford newer vehicles that comply with modern emission standards.
It has prompted one British Army veteran, Prabhdeep Singh, to embark on a week-long hunger strike in protest at the move, calling the scheme ‘another burden’ borne by people on low incomes during the cost-of-living crisis.
The Conservatives have also credited their win in the Uxbridge by-election, brought about by the resignation of Boris Johnson, to the unpopularity of Mr Khan’s ULEZ scheme.
Protesters gathered in Trafalgar Square at the weekend to call for an end to the ULEZ expansion. Some branded Sadiq Khan’s reasons for the rollout a ‘toxic air lie’
Five London borough councils – including Bexley, home to Maiden Lane – brought a last-ditch challenge to the High Court in a bid to halt the expansion of the ULEZ scheme. But a judge ruled in favour of mayor Sadiq Khan at the end of July
Hundreds gathered in Trafalgar Square at the weekend to protest the enlarged penalty zone, bearing signs calling on the mayor to ‘stop the toxic air lie’.
However, the Labour mayor – who cites studies linking air pollution to health problems such as heart disease and dementia as the reason he is pushing the expansion so aggressively – has pressed on with the expansion plans.
Up to £140 million is being spent installing thousands of cameras across the capital to penalise anyone caught in an unexempt car that has not paid the £12.50 daily charge. The scheme operates every day of the year except for Christmas Day.
Mr Khan says that those who will be worst affected by the expansion, such as tradespeople living in outer London boroughs previously outside the ULEZ zone, should want to replace their ageing vehicles for their own health.
Further, the Greater London Authority claims that nine out of 10 vehicles ‘seen driving regularly in outer London on an average day’ are already ULEZ-compliant.
In a bid to ease motorists’ suffering, Transport for London has announced that the eligibility of its ULEZ scrappage scheme is being expanded to anyone who owns a vehicle that does not meet ULEZ engine standards – Euro 3 for motorbikes, Euro 4 for petrol vehicles and Euro 6 for diesel vehicles.
Car owners can claim up to £2,000 – or offset some of the cash against annual bus and tram passes – while van owners can claim up to £7,000, or £9,500 if they agree to replace their van with an electric one.
Residents in areas that will soon fall under the ultra-low emission zone say they are being penalised for being unable to afford a newer car. Driving into the ULEZ with a rule-breaking vehicle will cost £12.50 per day, every day, except Christmas Day
Mr Khan has remained resolute in the face of criticism at the expansion of the ULEZ scheme, calling the clean-up of London’s air a ‘difficult but vital task’
But some Londoners have taken the law into their own hands, vandalising ULEZ cameras by cutting their cables – or removing them from lampposts altogether
The scheme was originally only available to those on benefits, but has been expanded after the mayor said he was ‘listening to Londoners’. However, some Londoners have taken the law into their own hands, vandalising and stealing ULEZ cameras in a bid to dodge fines.
Last month, Mr Khan won a court battle against five Conservative-run councils – including Bexley, where half of Maiden Lane sits – that sought to bring the scheme to a halt.
Following the victory at the High Court, the Mayor said: ‘The decision to expand the ULEZ was very difficult and not something I took lightly and I continue to do everything possible to address any concerns Londoners may have.
‘Air pollution is an urgent public health crisis – our children are growing up with stunted lungs and it is linked to a host of serious conditions, from heart disease to cancer and dementia.
‘This unambiguous decision today in the High Court allows us to press on with the difficult but vital task of cleaning up London’s air and tackling the climate crisis.’
But Tory London Mayoral candidate Susan Hall has said the move is ‘too little, too late’ for residents already dealing with spiralling living costs.
She said: ‘Thousands of families, small businesses and charities face financial ruin because of Sadiq Khan’s Ulez expansion, which will do next to nothing to improve air quality.’
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