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ULEZ expansion: An update from Havering Council

Published: Tuesday, 7 February 2023

Statement on ULEZ from Councillor Ray Morgon, Leader of Havering Council.

“We understand that many residents are worried about ULEZ being introduced. We fully understand these worries, especially at the time of a cost of living crisis which is affecting so many people.

"As a Cabinet, we have debated this issue at great length. We have tried to look at the issue objectively rather than purely from an ideological stance. We understand that air quality needs to improve and public health will ultimately benefit from that.

"However, we feel its introduction should be delayed facilitating better mitigation for residents including an enhanced scrappage scheme.

“We are clearly aware under Section 295 GLA Act 1999, the Mayor has powers to introduce and operate a “charging scheme in respect of the keeping or use of motor vehicles on roads in its area”.

"Even without what is known as a Section 8 agreement being signed, the permission to install the infrastructure is still available to the Mayor.

“The Act also overrides any issues around planning consent required in relation to the cameras and signage.

"To date, we have not heard of any strong legal case to stop ULEZ being implemented, but remain open-minded to any arguments to the contrary. We will always act in the best overall interests of our residents. 

“We also feel that the GLA have not considered the full impact to outer London boroughs such as Havering.

"We are also concerned for those who live outside London, and need to drive into the borough for work, for example, health and social care workers, police and many other key public sector workers.

"There is no support for those employees who travel into Havering daily and our strong fear is that many will look elsewhere to work as they will not be able to afford the additional financial burden.

"It is already very hard to recruit to these services and there are known shortages of staff, and this will become much worse if ULEZ is introduced too quickly. 

“We are also one of the biggest boroughs in London and travel north to south by public transport is very difficult unless you have a car or another vehicle.

"We are not like inner London boroughs who have much better connections. Our public transport network must be improved. So one size does not fit all.

"We therefore need more transport options to help mitigate against ULEZ if it is introduced. The current offer does not meet the strategic needs of our Borough.

“Although the scrappage scheme has been improved, we are still concerned that it isn’t enough to cover the costs of all those who will need to change their vehicles. In 2021, TfL data suggests that 25% of the borough is not compliant.

"There will, no doubt, be residents who can’t afford to change, including people who need vehicles for their business.

"We are also not in a position to know the full percentage impact of people travelling in from outside London to work in Havering as a measure has not been provided by TfL.

"Therefore, due to our concerns, we have not concluded a Section 8 Agreement with TfL."