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  • Writer's pictureSafer Highways

ULEZ expansion hits one in four London builders

One in four London tradespeople say that the ULEZ expansion has already had a detrimental impact on their business.

The ULEZ will be expanded to cover all of Greater London by the end of AugustThe ultra-low emission zone (ULEZ) was introduced in central London by mayor Sadiq Khan in 2019 and expanded to embrace the area within the North- and South-Circular roads in 2021.

In less than eight weeks’ time (at the end of August 2023) the ULEZ will be further expanded to cover the whole of Greater London.

A survey carried out by Fix Radio – a radio station for builders and tradespeople – has found that 25% of London tradespeople say that they have had to increase their prices in the past year due to increasing transport costs and many have lost work as a result.

A further 23% of London tradespeople said that it is too expensive to use their vehicle within the ULEZ.

To mitigate increasing costs, Transport for London has introduced a £110m scrappage scheme to help fund the purchase of new vehicles that are ULEZ-compliant. The scheme offers sole traders and tradespeople working for a micro-business (those with 10 employees and under) between £5,000 and £9,000 to help them transition to a low-polluting or EV alternative. But campaigners, including the Federation of Master Builders, say this is insufficient. The electric version of Britain’s best-selling van, the Ford Transit, starts at £48,000.

Clive Holland, a presenter on Fix Radio, said: “It is not only happening in London it's happening in cities around the UK including Birmingham and Bath. The tradesperson who is going about their daily job is being victimised.

“Particular at this time, with Brits battling inflation and recession, it means that customers are turning down jobs because they can’t afford it and tradespeople are encountering extra fees, such as the ULEZ charge which makes jobs less desirable."

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