No-go fears for ULEZ expansion

A national trade body has raised concerns that the expansion of the Ultra Low Emission Zone across Greater London could see neighbourhoods become no-go areas for the building trade.

The Builders Merchants Federation (BMF) says that tradespeople might opt not to work within the Greater London boundary, and the amount of building products available for sale will be significantly reduced, if the ULEZ is introduced in August.

It is concerned that SMEs operating within the M25, who rely on non-compliant vehicles for their work, could be reluctant to accept new projects within the Greater London boundary, with a knock-on effect to householders and the wider building materials supply chain.

John Newcomb, boss of the BMF, said: “Our concern is that Greater London becomes a no-go area for a significant proportion of the trade.

“Trade customers could choose to go elsewhere outside Greater London to buy materials and products to avoid ULEZ charges, and tradespeople, particularly SMEs, opt not to accept new work within the boundary.

“As a result, we will see fewer local firms available for end-customers to choose from when seeking to have work done on their property, which will in turn affect waiting times and prices.

“This will also directly affect sales turnover at merchants, with consequences for the amounts of stock held and staffing levels.”

The BMF has written to the Mayor of London, calling for the policy to be reconsidered – a move supported across its membership.

Frank Elkins, chief operating officer of Travis Perkins, said “Although we fully appreciate the need to drive the impact of emissions down across the whole country, we are asking for more time for residents, tradespersons and colleagues to be able to adapt.”

Lords Builders Merchants has 13 branches employing 300 staff operating across Greater London. ity;s CEO, Shanker Patel, said: “We believe the introduction of the ULEZ extension will hurt the very people it is designed to assist.

“Transport for London should look to delay the introduction until such time as the current high level of inflation reduces, so those affected can afford to change their vehicles.”

Howard Luft, CEO of Selco, said: “The proposed ULEZ expansion will hurt the residents, workers and tradespeople of London alike, at a time when many are already experiencing great financial hardship with the current cost of living crisis in the UK.”


Picture: John Newcomb, chief executive of the BMF. Picture: BMF

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