Sadiq Khan just let slip Labours secret plot to roll out ULEZ across UK

Sadiq Khan has been accused of letting slip Labour’s secret plans to roll out ULEZ across Britain if the party comes to power next year.

The London Mayor said on Friday that authorities in the Home Counties should set up their own ULEZ schemes adding to the expansion he has overseen for the whole of London. The £12.50-a-day driver tax comes into force for all areas of the capital from August 29.

Mayor Khan defeated the Tory-run London boroughs of Bromley, Bexley, Harrow and Hillingdon, as well as Surrey County Council, at the High Court last month in their bid to stop ULEZ expansion.

Despite victory in the courts, Labour suffered in the polls with the party failing to beat the Conservatives in the by-election in Boris Johnson’s former seat of Uxbridge and South Ruislip.

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But a triumphant Mr Khan proclaimed that councils outside of his grip on London should start their own ULEZ schemes to cope with the TfL levy.

The BBC reports that he was disappointed councils spent money “wasted on court fees and lawyers” to oppose him when they could have directed the funds towards ULEZ schemes.

He added: “What I’d say to those county councils outside London is two things – one is, you should be supporting your residents like Merton Council and others have been doing.

“But secondly – the government is your government, they’re from your party. Why don’t you join me on a cross-party basis to lobby this government [for more scrappage funding]?”

Large numbers of people who live outside of London are facing ULEZ charges to commute into the city for work, health appointments, and pleasure.

Labour-run Merton became the first authority close to London, but outside of Mr Khan’s control, to start its own scrappage scheme for non-compliant vehicles.

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In London alone, the RAC says there are some 690,000 motors which will be subject to the daily tax from the end of the month. But according to the Conservatives, this figure for the Home Counties rises to a massive 1.2 million.

Susan Hall the Conservative Mayoral candidate hoping to dethrone Mr Khan in the 2024 elections said Labour was “determined” to punish poorer families.

She told “Next year’s elections are so important because Labour won’t stop with Sadiq Khan’s ULEZ expansion.

“Angela Rayner has admitted they want to see ULEZ schemes across the country, and Sadiq Khan is demanding councils outside London pay for the cost-of-living impact of his own tax.

“Labour are determined to punish poorer families who rely on their cars. It is vital that we stop them at the ballot box in 2024.”

Last month, Labour’s Deputy Leader Angela Rayner told Sky News “[ULEZ] is coming to towns and cities across the UK”.

Her comments came despite leader Sir Keir Starmer being yet to publicly endorse the expansion, amid fears of a voter backlash like that seen in Uxbridge and South Ruislip.

Howard Cox, founder of FairFuel UK and Reform UK candidate for London Mayor, said Mr Khan had an “almost religious belief, ULEZs should be rolled out further past the M25”.

He told “Labour MPs can’t hide either from the fact they hate drivers just as much as the capital’s dishonest Mayor too.

“It’s clear from all pronouncements emanating from the opposition front bench, a ULEZ will be coming to a city near you if Sir Keir Starmer gets the keys to Number 10.”

Mr Khan on Friday announced that every Londoner with a polluting car will now be eligible for a grant of up to £2,000 to switch to a greener model, while small businesses can get £21,000 to junk up to three vans.

It comes after Sir Keir asked him to reflect on how the extension was being carried out following the Uxbridge result.

Asked whether the Labour mayor and the party’s national leader are now in agreement on the issue, Mr Khan declined to answer, instead lauding the widening of the scrappage scheme.

Conservative Health Minister Maria Caulfield told Sky News the financial support has “touched the sides of people’s concerns” and that “£2,000 is nothing if you’re having to replace your car”.

But Mr Khan insisted there are plenty of second-hand ULEZ-compliant vehicles that can be purchased for less than £2,000. He said nine out of 10 cars seen driving on an average day in outer London are compliant, so the vast majority of Londoners “won’t pay a penny more”.

But figures obtained by the RAC show more than 690,000 licensed cars in the whole of London are likely to be non-compliant.

A petition opposing the planned ULEZ expansion has reached more than 250,000 signatures at the time of writing.

The Labour Party was contacted for comment.

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