Mayor of London accused of ducking questions on boroughs refusing ULEZ cameras

By Ruby Gregory, Local Democracy Reporter

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan was accused of dodging questions today as he was asked what he would do about councils refusing to let Transport for London (TfL) install London Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) cameras.

Nine boroughs, including three Lib Dem councils and six Tory councils, have blasted TfL’s plans to install CCTV cameras in their boroughs – despite TfL claiming it doesn’t need the green light from councils to do so. 

Asked what he would do about London boroughs refusing to install ULEZ enforcement cameras, Mr Khan said: “I think those councils, they’re Conservative councils for party political reasons, who are opposing these policies, need to ask themselves the question, what is their response to those bereaved families in their boroughs who have lost their lives because of the poor quality in the air?

“The largest numbers of people with respiratory issues are in outer London. The largest number of deaths are in outer London. The councils that are opposing it are councils with the largest number of deaths.”

Speaking at an event in Newham today, Mr Khan also said that clean air was “a human right”, and that black Londoners suffered the worst consequences of air pollution.

But he didn’t reveal what he planned to do if councils blocked plans to install ULEZ cameras.

Richmond-upon-Thames is the latest council to join Harrow, Hillingdon, Croydon, Sutton, Bromley, Bexley, Havering and Kingston in fighting the mayor’s ULEZ expansion plans, which will come into force on August 29 this year. 

Mr Khan added: “Rather than these Conservatives being in the pocket of the fossil fuel companies, what they should be doing is being beside ordinary people.

“It’s the poorest Londoners who are least likely to own a car and who suffer the worse consequences. It’s also black Londoners that suffer the worst consequences and are least likely to own a car.

“I think clear air is a human right. Everyone should be entitled to breathe in clean air, not just those in central London and inner London and who have seen the benefits of ULEZ, but also those in outer London.”

(Picture: PA)

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