Urez expansion will force Londoners to choose between heating, eating or traveling, mayor warns
Sadiq Khan warned today that he may have to go hungry or switch off the heating to pay the £12.50 a day ultra-low emission zone levy.
Harrow Council Tory leader Paul Osborne argued that Urez’s expansion into the Greater London Border would have a “devastating” effect on low-income Londoners who cannot upgrade their cars.
He said the cost of living crisis would force them to “choose between paying the Urez tax or heating and eating.”
That happened when Bromley Council leader Tory called an estimate that London suffered the highest number of premature deaths from toxic air as “absolute nonsense”.
A survey by the Mayor of Imperial College and Transport for London failed to account for the borough’s elderly population and numerous aged care facilities, he said.
Khan today faces renewed backlash from Conservative districts after warning that attempts to overturn his decision to extend Urez to all 33 districts have been “misunderstood” and will result in a loss in the High Court bottom.
Harrow, Bromley, Bexley and Hillingdon have until February 24th to decide whether to file an application for judicial review.
In a letter to the mayor, Osborne noted that savings expert Martin Lewis questioned the timing of Urez’s expansion at last week’s city hall cost of living summit.
Mr Osborne wrote:
“It is these lives, these family and their children.
“By attacking the poorest and most vulnerable people in our society and by attacking struggling businesses, we make the choices they face even harder.”
Estimates from Imperial College suggest that between 172 and 204 premature deaths were attributed to air pollution in Bromley in 2019.
Hayling and Bromley had the lowest levels of contamination, according to the Empire’s report, but “were high on the list of mortality burdens because of their higher proportion of the population in the older age group and lower proportion in the younger age group”.
Khan said Urez needs to be expanded on August 29 to deal with up to 4,100 premature deaths each year in the capital.
However, Bromley leader Colin Smith said:
“In fact, Bromley is a very healthy borough with a low overall mortality rate. Bromley’s air pollution-related mortality rate is actually the third lowest in London.”
He said the lung damage in older Bromley residents could have been caused by “smog and smoke-filled pubs and clubs of yesteryear.” He said he was drawn to the ward to spend his final years in a nursing home.
“In summary, Bromley enjoys the second cleanest air in London, just behind Haveling,” he said. “It also has cleaner air than all the wards already involved in the mayor’s existing Urez plan, and even the mayor’s own scientific projections suggest that further expansion of Urez would add only minimal benefits. has been confirmed.”
https://www.standard.co.uk/news/transport/ulez-expansion-hits-low-income-cost-of-living-sadiq-khan-b1058431.html Urez expansion will force Londoners to choose between heating, eating or traveling, mayor warns