The expansion of the Ultra Low Emission Zone really is good news for London. From 25 October 2021 onwards, the most polluting cars (diesels manufactured before September 2015 and petrol cars manufactured before 2005) will be charged £12.50 for driving within the North and South Circular Roads.
This will bring cleaner air to 3.8million Londoners. Cleaner air for children walking to school; cleaner air leading to healthier lungs and healthier lives. Mums for Lungs are taking an impressive lead on celebrating this.
Taking political action on car use is challenging. In Ealing we know this better than most, and the Mayor’s office should be congratulated for making progress. But, in our Borough we are faced with the reality of an imperfect solution.
I have a primary school age child in Ealing. The choice of secondary schools are one just inside the zone; or one right on the boundary road. We have clean(er) air for half the Borough; and the same old (dirty) air for the other half.
The Green Party have long championed road pricing as a more socially just solution. So where does ULEZ fit? Well, it makes sense for now:
“In the short term, road charging should be introduced where road space is most congested and where traffic causes most pollution. These would be expected to be in urban areas and in areas that attract large numbers of tourists.”
So let’s celebrate the politicians who have made progress on cleaning up London’s air (including Green Party London Assembly members Sian Berry, Zack Polanski and Caroline Russell).
But know that what’s needed is clean air for ALL. So what’s next?
Footnote: Zack Polanski statement on ULEZ expansion: