Labour has come under pressure to rule out expanding a Ulez-style emissions tax from London to other major cities in the U.K. if it wins the next election. MailOnline has more.
A policy document drafted by Sir Keir Starmer’s party backs the idea of ‘clean air zones’ in major urban areas alongside expansion of public transport.
London mayor Sadiq Khan is facing a major fight over the Ultra-Low Emission Zones scheme, which sees the worse-polluting vehicles hit with a £12.50 daily charge.
It currently only applies to cars, vans and lorries entering central London, but from August will be expanded to include all London boroughs.
Greg Hands, the Conservative Party chairman and MP for Chelsea and Fulham, told the Telegraph: “Khan’s cash-grab Ulez expansion is hugely unpopular here in London. Labour need to rule out these unpopular moves on hard-working residents of our great cities.”
The document, first reported by the Labour List website, recommends Labour “support the principle of Clean Air Zones”, but adds that they must be “phased in carefully… and should be accompanied with a just transition plan”.
They are already in place in Bath, Birmingham, Bradford, Bristol, Greater Manchester, Portsmouth, Sheffield and Tyneside.
Tory candidates to run against Mr Khan in next year’s London mayoral election have pledged to scrap the Ulez extension to outer boroughs.
But Sir Keir last week backed the expansion, saying Londoners risk getting lung cancer without it.
He admitted it was “a lot of money” for vehicle owners to pay.
Asked on LBC Radio whether he was fully behind Mr Khan’s expansion of London’s ULEZ, the Labour leader admitted: “There’s many people who will look at the scheme and say, ‘That’s a lot of money for me to pay.’”
Worth reading in full.
Stop Press: In the Telegraph, Ross Clark says the Ulez expansion scheme could be the end of Sadiq Khan’s disastrous misrule.
Profanity and abuse will be removed and may lead to a permanent ban.