I was in the Supreme Court yesterday when Justice Swift delivered a ruling that will disappoint and frankly perplex millions of Londoners and those in the surrounding boroughs.
Labor Mayor of London Sadiq Khan won a legal battle on August 29 to extend his hated ultra-low emissions zone to the edges of the M25.
That means in 31 days anyone entering the Ulez zone with a car, van or lorry that doesn’t meet the tough new emissions regulations will have to pay at least £12.50 each time.
It was not the judge’s job to decide whether the ulez expansion should go ahead, but to consider how the decision was reached and whether the process was lawful.
Although two out of three people in Mr Khan’s consultation said they were against the extension, the five Greater London councilors who opposed this new ulez zone failed to persuade the judge.
This obviously dishonest mayor will now swear to everyone that he has the legal right to punish low-income families and struggling tradespeople to supposedly clean the air.
What the judge has done is allow Sadiq Khan to plunder more and more people for his own ego-driven political agenda.
Yesterday Mr Khan welcomed “this landmark decision” and announced a £100million scrapping scheme will be expanded to allow people with polluting vehicles to afford to buy cleaner cars and vans.
That’s the equivalent of £2,000 for a car owner buying a new vehicle – but that’s nothing compared to the price of a new car, especially an electric car.
The best form of scrapping would be to do away with this form of daylight robbing altogether.
Last week Labor failed to take over Boris Johnson’s old west London constituency of Uxbridge and South Ruislip because of the Ulez changes.
Union leader Sir Keir Starmer is completely insane.
He supported Mr Khan for a moment but when Labor lost Uxbridge and South Ruislip he realized the ulez are a problem.
Now is the time for Labor to realize how hard working people are being ripped off by money-making schemes for cars that are spreading like an epidemic across the country.
Another Labor Mayor, Andy Burnham, wants Greater Manchester to be the world’s largest clean air zone and also wants to tax drivers.
All of these low-traffic neighborhoods and 20-mile zones are going to hit working people hardest – sole proprietors, small businesses, the kind of people Labor should target to get a working majority next year.
It is time for Sir Keir to get off the fence and ORDERS Mr Khan to reconsider and scrap the ulez expansion.
Even Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves has told Mr Khan “now is not the time” to “bash people with additional charges”.
And the Mayor’s Panel, Transport for London, has admitted that extending the Ulez to the M25 will make no demonstrable difference to London’s air quality.
force people into debt
It will just bring in a lot of money to fill a black hole in City Hall’s finances.
Its clumsy debt management will hit the poorest hardest.
I recently did a report that actually calculated the impact of the new London ulez on the economy.
A sum of nearly £1billion – £800m to be precise – will be drained from the capital’s economy because people do not want to travel to the extended Ulez zone.
Welcoming the court’s “groundbreaking decision”, Mr Khan claimed nine out of ten vehicles in London were Ulez compliant.
But using Freedom of Information data, the RAC estimates that there could be as many as 700,000 cars in Greater London that do not meet Ulez standards.
And that doesn’t count cars from outside the M25 heading into the capital.
Vans and trucks are also not included.
TfL estimates that 30,000 non-compliant vans pass through the city every day – and there are just 23,000 vans for sale across the UK that meet Ulez standards.
Anyone who applies for child benefit or runs a small business with fewer than 50 employees should be able to get help from their scrappage bonus from next week, says the mayor.
He’ll give them £2,000 but where are they going to get the other £20,000 to buy the car?
With production of all new petrol and diesel cars ending in just six years, most people would want to buy an electric vehicle, and the cheapest starts at around £15,000-20,000.
The scrapping fund provides up to £9,000 for some craftsmen, but the electric equivalent of Britain’s best-selling van, the Ford Transit, starts at £48,000.
It is ridiculous that a Labor mayor would actually force people to borrow money to get rid of their so-called polluting vehicle in order to buy cleaner vehicles and put them in even more debt.
So Sir Keir, you only have 31 days to end this madness and show us whose side you’re on.