ULEZ expansion plan sees protesters call on Sadiq Khan to think again

Hundreds of protesters took to the streets of central London, calling for Sadiq Khan’s proposed Ultra Low Emission Zone extension to be scrapped. 

Drivers of polluting cars currently have to pay a surcharge inside the Central London area bounded by the north and south circular.

The Mayor of London wants that extended out towards the M25 and the Greater London boundaries. 

Making their point – anti ULEZ expansion protesters (Picture: M Jameson)

It would mean a payment of £12.50 for thousands of extra motorists per day, and is a scheme described as: ‘Khanage’ in banners waved by opponents.  

Among the crowds in a gathering at Trafalgar Square on Saturday was Piers Corbyn – brother of the former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn – who held an information poster reading: ‘BREAK Sadiq Khan!’, ‘Can’t pay! Won’t pay!’ 

Others were armed with signs demanding the Mayor of London to be sacked. 

The ULEZ extension is seen by the mayor as an essential component of the capital’s need to combat air pollution and climate change. 

But many of those protesting believe it is no more than a money-making venture that will put even more pressure on those grappling with the cost-of-living crisis. 

Among those taking part in the protests was Marianne Jameson, from Streatham, who said: “Many of us see this as just a cash cow and wonder where all the money raised is going to go. Probably to help prop up TfL (Transport for London).

“The main concern is that the cameras are being set up for a ‘pay-per-mile’ scheme in the future. We all want cleaner air and my car is completely ULEZ compliant, but this expansion process hasn’t been thought through properly.

Anti ULEZ expansion protesters (Picture: M Jameson)

“It’s going to hit poorest people the worst, and an awful lot of drivers were honking their horns in support. I think there were at least three or four thousand of us making our feelings known.”

Council leaders in several boroughs have voiced concerns over the changes, which are due to come into force in August. 

Among them is Bromley council leader Colin Smith, who said his local authority would work alongside Harrow, Bexley, and Hillingdon to ‘examine the legal basis’ of the ULEZ expansion. 

Croydon, Sutton, and Bexley have also expressed a willingness to challenge City Hall over the controversial scheme that will see about 200,000 motorists with older vehicles hit with the new daily charge. 

Anti ULEZ expansion protesters (Picture: M Jameson)

But the mayor’s office issued a statement saying: “Toxic air caused by traffic is still leading to children growing up with stunted lungs and nearly 4,000 premature deaths a year – with the greatest number of deaths attributable to air pollution in London’s outer boroughs.  

Leaflet by ‘Action against ULEZ extension’ Group

“Earlier this month a major new report showed that harmful pollution emissions have reduced by 26 per cent within the current ULEZ area – compared with what they would have been without the 2021 expansion coming into force.” 

Anti ULEZ expansion protesters including the ‘Democracy Coffin’ (Picture: M Jameson)

Action against ULEZ extension – Facebook page –

Pictured top: Placard-carrying protesters gathered in Trafalgar Square on Saturday (Picture: M Jameson)

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