Ulez has negative impact for us, Bromley’s Tories tell Sadiq Khan again

By Joe Coughlan, Local Democracy Reporter

A stroke survivor in Bromley has claimed that she feels ‘isolated’ as she cannot see friends and family due to her car not being ULEZ-compliant.

The Conservative group say she is just one example of why the restrictions should not apply in their borough.

The Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) scheme’s expansion last August saw people across outer London being asked to pay £12.50 to drive if their car was not deemed environmentally-friendly enough. The topic was discussed at a Bromley council meeting on Monday.

The woman, living in Coney Hall, contacted Conservative councillor Josh Coldspring-White to tell him about the situation she was in.

Cllr Coldspring-White said at the meeting: “After suffering a minor stroke, [the resident] began to recuperate by joining gym classes in Beckenham.

“Her car is non-compliant and she doesn’t feel able for the two buses and walk it would involve if she did not drive. She tried to replace her car, but even with the scrappage scheme, the prices are still out of reach.”

The councillor reported her saying: “My life feels very restrictive as I cannot afford to visit friends and family. My choice to use certain supermarkets has been taken from me as I cannot afford to add £12.50 to my bill and all of this has a knock-on effect of feeling less social interaction and [more] isolation.”

Cllr Coldspring-White was speaking in support of a motion put forward by the Conservative Group which claimed the ULEZ expansion had not served the best interests of people living in Bromley.

Cllr Colin Hitchins, who proposed the motion, said he wanted to send a clear message to the Mayor that outer London was not the ‘Bank of Khan’.

Fellow Tory councillor Thomas Turrell said: “The Mayor of London doesn’t seem to be able to demonstrate that he understands the difference between inner and outer London.”

Bromley council put forward a legal challenge last year against the expansion as part of a coalition with four other local authorities. It was ultimately dismissed by the High Court and Bromley council was asked to pay £147,853 in legal costs, which the Bromley Labour Group labelled as a ‘pointless waste of taxpayers’ money’.

Lib Dem councillor Chloe-Jane Ross said at the meeting: “I do think it’s a big call to say that the best interests of the entirety of our borough are not served well by ULEZ. We have extremely urban areas in our borough that are highly congested.”

A spokesman for the Mayor of London said: “In Bromley, up to 204 people – the highest out of all London boroughs – lost their lives prematurely in 2019 due to toxic air pollution. Nowhere in Bromley currently meets World Health Organization recommended air quality guidelines.”

Pictured top: A sign warning drivers of the ULEZ (Picture: James Mayer/LDRS)

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