London Local Govt Rebels Against Khan’s Climate Car Tax, Refuses to Install Cameras

London mayor Sadiq Khan wheels his bicycle as he arrives at City Hall after he urged ministers to extend the latest regional restrictions including ordering bars and restaurants to close at 10pm to cover the capital as well. (Photo by Stefan Rousseau/PA Images via Getty Images)
Stefan Rousseau/PA Images via Getty Images

A borough in South London has come out in defiance of far-left Mayor Sadiq Khan’s plan to expand the Ultra Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ) charge throughout the British capital by refusing to install the cameras needed to enforce the green agenda policy.

The Sutton Liberal Democrats, who are currently in control of the council which governs the borough at the local level, have said that they intend on fighting the “unfair” expansion of the climate fee from Central London to the entire metropolitan area, and will seek to block the installation of ULEZ cameras in their part of the city.

“We are taking this step to send a strong signal to the mayor that he must start listening to local people,” the council said in a statement reported by The Telegraph.

“Though the mayor has the right to overrule us, and may attempt to force this unpopular decision on the residents of Sutton, we are clear that would be the wrong thing to do.”

The move comes as four other local governments in London — the borough councils for Bexley, Bromley, Harrow, and Hillingdon — have announced that they will take action to challenge the legality of Khan’s plan, which is set to be imposed upon the city in August.

The leader of the Bromley council said that the mayor had “blatantly ignored” the opinions of Londoners and had used “questionable, selective and incomplete findings” to justify the expansion of the tax.

Meanwhile, Bexley and Hillingdon questioned whether the adverse economic impacts on working-class families would actually be outweighed by the minimal improvements to air quality.

The Ultra Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ) was introduced in 2019 by Khan in Central London, charging cars that failed to meet his emissions standards a fee for travelling through the centre of the city. The Labour politician plans to extend the policy throughout the city by August, meaning that any “non-compliant car” will be taxed at a rate of £12.50 per day.

The expansion threatens to impact some 200,000 cars, meaning that many working-class people who need to drive into London for their jobs will be severely financially impacted.

Though ULEZ was initially pitched as a means of reducing pollution, it has become something of a money-making scheme for the tax-hungry city government, which took in nearly £100 million in revenue in 2021. It has been estimated that expanding the scheme will see the mayoral government take in as much as £400 million per year.

Khan has argued that despite the unpopularity of the plan, due in large part to the economic crisis impacting the nation, including soaring inflation, falling wages, and high taxes imposed by Westminster, the expansion of the ULEZ programme is needed in order to clean up the air in the city.

The Greater London Authority Conservatives transport spokesman, Nick Rogers, said of the pushback from the local councils: “I am pleased that many boroughs are already taking action to protect residents from Sadiq Khan’s Ulez tax and would encourage all boroughs to do likewise.”


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