Khan accused of using ULEZ to fix mismanagement as scale of fines laid bare

Sadiq Khan refuses to pause ULEZ rollout despite legal challenge

Sadiq Khan has been accused of using ULEZ to fix “his own financial mismanagement”, as the scale of the fines has been unveiled.

Earlier today it was revealed that Transport for London (TfL) has handed out £400million worth of fines in less than 18 months to drivers who did not pay the ULEZ charge.

Tory MP Louie French claimed the expansion of ULEZ, set to be unrolled in August, is about providing “more money for the mayor’s pocket”.

Meanwhile, Conservative mayoral candidate Susan Hall claimed Mr Khan is “taxing the poorest to fix his own financial mismanagement”.

Sadiq Khan has faced growing backlash in recent months for his plans to expand the ULEZ in London, with the Mayor facing a High Court challenge over the plans.

The hearing, taking place in July, will effectively decide whether Mr Khan acted legally or illegally in giving the go-ahead for the scheme’s expansion.

The £12.50 ULEZ charge applies to vehicles that do not meet up-to-date emissions standards and currently covers inner London, but will be expanded to cover the whole of London.

Conservative Mayoral Candidate Dan Korski told the Daily Express: “I will scrap the ULEZ expansion on my first day in office and joining my campaign is the best way to help stop this dreadful policy. Hitting nearly 2.5 million people over 18 months with fines is quite enough. Expanding the ULEZ by many orders of magnitude is simply not necessary at the height of a cost-of-living crisis.

“When you look at the pollution on the tube, and the data indicating the most polluting cars will come off our roads in the near future anyway, it is clear ULEZ is not a fair or effective way to ensure Londoners breathe cleaner air.

“And with 80 percent of London’s carbon emissions coming from buildings and much of the rest from construction, it won’t help the environment significantly either.

“But it will unfairly punish less well-off families and small businesses on the edge of our city. 

“The fact this Mayor has bankrupted TFL, and the potential for the ULEZ expansion to raise desperately needed funds for it, goes, I think, some way to explaining Khan’s commitment to this scheme, despite its obvious unpopularity and ineffectiveness.”

Meanwhile, Ms Hall said: “Sadiq Khan should not be taxing the poorest to fix his own financial mismanagement and as Mayor, I would stop the ULEZ expansion on day one. I am the only candidate in the Conservative Mayoral selection who can beat him and deliver that.”

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Mr French agreed, telling the Express: “These eye-watering figures again highlight what ULEZ expansion is about – more money for the Mayor’s pocket.

“TFL’s forecasts have also shown that ULEZ expansion will raise more than £1bn in the first two years, right out of the pockets of hardworking people in Greater London.

“Khan is pickpocketing Outer London, punishing people who have no choice but to use their cars and vans to get to work, drop their children off at school or attend hospital appointments.

“This is a timely reminder that the expansion is all about money and that Labour doesn’t get the issues keeping Outer Londoners up at night.”

Between January 2022 and April 2023, 2,468,471 penalty charge notices were issued.

The Ultra Low Emission zone is a £12.50 charge issued for driving in certain zones in London. If the vehicle does not meet ULEZ emission standards, drivers who fail to pay receive a penalty charge notice of up to £180.

This is reduced to £90 if paid within two weeks. The fines increased in January from £160 and £80 respectively.

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