EAST Thurrock MP Stephen Metcalfe has raised the spectre of an expanded London Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) in the House of Commons, saying it will have a detrimental impact on people from his constituency.
Mr Metcalfe, MP for South Basildon & East Thurrock, asked Prime Minister Rishi Sunak at Prime Minister’s Questions today (Wednesday, 14 December) what the Government can do to stop London Mayor Sadiq Khan’ zone.
The mayor has decided to ignore his own public consultation on the expansion on the £12.50 daily ULEZ charge. Around 70 per cent of outer-Londoners and 80 per cent of business-owners were against the expansion but their view appears to have been ignored and expansion is planned to be implemented in nine months.
Mr Metcalfe says this means that, with sharply rising energy bills and inflation, households will have to put aside extra money to pay the daily charge or buy a modern ULEZ-compliant vehicle which is unaffordable for many people in Thurrock.
He said the ULEZ expansion is a raid on drivers’ wallets and a hammer blow to businesses when they need all the support they can get.
Recently Mr Metcalfe was a signatory to an open letter to the Telegraph from Gareth Bacon MP which highlighted that outer London is very different to inner London and should not be absorbed into the ULEZ zone.
The letter said outer London does not have the same levels of pollution, it does not enjoy the same transport links, and it is inseparably linked to the Home Counties. Thousands of people, including and Thurrock, move across Greater London’s boundary every day.
Mr Metcalfe asked the Prime Minister: “The Mayor of London, despite objections, has decided to expand the ULEZ zone across all London Boroughs which will massively impact my constituents and those who share a border with London.
“Will you therefore, urgently speak to the Transport Secretary and encourage him to use the powers at his disposal to reverse this disastrous decision.”
Mr Sunak, replied: “My Honourable Friend will know that transport in London is devolved to the Labour Mayor of London, but it is disappointing that the Mayor, backed by the Leader of the Opposition, is choosing not to listen to the public.
“The zone is being expanded against the overwhelming views of residents and businesses, and I’d urgently consider the Mayor, and the gentleman opposite, to be on the side of hardworking Londoners.”