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London Assembly calls for larger ultra-low emission zone

Motion calling for expansion of proposed ULEZ beyond the centre of the capital passed by London Assembly members yesterday (July 16)

A motion calling for the London Mayor’s proposed ultra-low emission zone to be expanded beyond the centre of the capital was passed by London Assembly members yesterday (July 16).

Labour group leader in the London Assembly, Len Duvall, proposed the motion, which called on the Mayor, Boris Johnson, to modify his 2020 proposals for the ULEZ so that surrounding London boroughs are part of the zone as well as central London.

London Assembly members have urged the Mayor to expand the size of the proposed ULEZ

London Assembly members have urged the Mayor to expand the size of the proposed ULEZ

In addition, an amendment to the final motion stated that surrounding boroughs should not have to take on any financial burden from additional air quality monitoring should they be included in the zone.

The motion has been sent to the London Mayor, who is expected to respond in the coming weeks.

Mr Johnson first announced plans in February 2013 for an ultra-low emission zone in the capital from 2020, which would likely cover the area of the existing Congestion Charge map and see only zero or low emission vehicles driving in central London during working hours (see airqualitynews.com story).

Since then, however, there have been repeated calls for the area covered by the ULEZ to be expanded across a much wider vicinity, and also for the zone to be implemented sooner than 2020.

Assembly member for Greenwich and Lewisham Mr Duvall also supports bringing the ULEZ plans forward and has urged Mr Johnson to retrofit all 8,000 of London’s buses so that their exhaust emissions are in line with the latest European standards.

These demands are not included in the motion passed by members yesterday, however.

Labour London Assembly group leader Mr Duvall, said: “Air pollution is a silent killer in London, and it is a scandal that over 4,000 people die prematurely every year in London because of poor air quality. But rather than showing radical leadership on this issue, Boris’ current proposals for an Ultra-Low Emissions Zone are half baked and need to be beefed up and accelerated.

“Today I am supporting the call for the Mayor’s proposed Ultra Low Emissions Zone to be expanded to outer London boroughs that want to opt-in, while protecting these boroughs from the financial burden of introducing a scheme. Only then will we be showing the scale of ambition needed to tackle this silent killer.â€?

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