So much for saving the planet, Sadiq! London drivers blast Mayor over new ULEZ scheme forcing them to travel an extra FIVE MILES to avoid £12.50 fee to visit their local recycling centre
Is this really a green option? The journey times to the two recycling centres
From Richmond to Townmead Road Recycling Centre: Exactly two miles – around 8 minutes by car
From Richmond to Space Way Recycling Centre in Hounslow – the journey Sadiq Khan recommends to avoid the ULEZ charge: Around seven miles – around 23 minutes by car
Residents in leafy Richmond say their local waste centre has been sucked into the ultra-low emission zone following its expansion on Monday.
It means residents living in the town and driving older vehicles face a £12.50 charge if they want to take their recycling to the local tip.
The controversial zone was expanded to cover all areas within the North and South Circular roads – home to some 3.8 million people – in a bid to lower emissions in the capital.
As a result, Townmead Road Re-use and Recycling Centre in Richmond, south west London, is now in the ULEZ zone.
But the nearby district of Richmond, which the recycling centre serves, is not.
Residents say the move is ‘wholly unfair’ on members of the community who ‘just want to do that right thing’.
And they have been further enraged after Mayor of London Sadiq Khan urged them instead to drive to a recycling centre in Hounslow – a journey which is more than three times the distance.
Townmead Road Re-use and Recycling Centre in Richmond, south west London, is now in the ULEZ zone. But the nearby district of Richmond, which the recycling centre serves, is not. Mayor of London Sadiq Khan urged Richmond residents instead to drive to Space Waye Recycling centre in Hounslow – a journey which is more than three times the distance
Furious residents have hit out at London Mayor Sadiq Khan’s ULEZ expansion because they say it means they are effectively being ‘taxed to recycle’
Residents in leafy Richmond say their local recycling centre has been sucked into the ultra-low emission zone following its expansion on Monday. It means residents living outside the zone with older vehicles face a £12.50 charge if they want to drive their recycling to the local tip
Residents have been further enraged after Mayor of London Sadiq Khan (pictured) urged them instead to drive to a recycling centre in Hounslow – a journey which is more than three times the distance
Will I be hit by Ulez and how much will it cost me?
Many more motorists will be liable for a daily charge after London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone was expanded. Here are 12 key questions about the scheme:
– What vehicles are affected? It depends how much nitrogen dioxide it emits, which is generally linked to its age. For diesel cars, most of those that meet the minimum standard were first registered after September 2015. Compliant petrol cars are typically those registered after 2005.
– How can I check the status of my vehicle? Transport for London is urging people to use its online checker by visiting www.tfl.gov.uk/modes/driving/check-your-vehicle.
– What is the charge for non-compliant vehicles? The daily fee is £12.50 for cars, motorcycles and vans up to 3.5 tonnes. Heavier vehicles, including lorries, buses and coaches, are charged £100.
– When do charges apply? All day, every day of the year except on Christmas Day.
– What is the Ultra Low Emission Zone (Ulez)? It is an area in London where drivers of older, more polluting vehicles are charged a daily fee.
– What has changed? It previously only covered parts of central London, but on Monday it became 18 times larger.
– What are the new boundaries? The Ulez has been extended to include all areas within the North and South Circular roads.
– Who has done this and why? The change has been implemented by London mayor Sadiq Khan in an attempt to improve air quality in the capital.
– How quickly do I have to pay? You have until midnight on the third day after the journey.
– How do I do it? You can pay online through TfL’s website, using the Pay to Drive in London app, or by phone. Drivers also have the option of setting up automatic billing so they are charged monthly.
– What happens if I do not pay? You could be handed a Penalty Charge Notice for £160, reduced to £80 if paid within a fortnight.
-Where does the money go? TfL says the cash it receives from the Ulez is reinvested into improving London’s transport network and to improve air quality. It insists ‘we don’t make a profit’ from the scheme.
James Coleman, 36, a business director who lives nearby, said: ‘It’s a sting in the tail for people wanting to recycle or bury their loved ones at the cemetery.
‘At a time when the future of this planet is being debated at COP26, taxing people for doing the right thing seems wholly unfair.
‘It’s only being used by residents and people wanting to save the planet or bury their loved ones.
‘I’m definitely going to drag my Christmas tree down the road, rather than driving, this year.
‘Saying residents can go to Hounslow seems like a flippant response and doesn’t solve the issue at hand.’
The decision to expand ULEZ was taken to try and remove polluting cars from the capital’s busy streets and improve residents’ health.
But Mr Coleman said: ‘This is a camera on a tiny side road going to local community services so I think it’s targeting people in the wrong way.
‘I think the rest of the boundary makes sense, but this seems like a glaringly obvious way
‘I understand you can’t please everyone, but this is a legitimate reason to rethink.’
The ULEZ zone expansion was introduced on Monday, making the previous zone 18 times larger.
The Ulez has operated since April 2019, but previously only covered the same area of central London as the Congestion Charge.
It now includes all areas within the North and South Circular roads in an attempt to boost air quality.
Drivers of vehicles which do not comply with minimum emissions standards are being now being charged £12.50-a-day.
For diesel cars to avoid the charge they must generally have been first registered after September 2015, while most petrol models registered from 2005 are also exempt.
It is another blow for drivers and comes as the price of petrol hit a new record high. Around 130,000 drivers are thought to be impacted.
As part of the expansion, recycling centre now falls just short of the A205 South Circular boundary which runs over Kew Bridge and is exempt from the emissions tax.
A camera will capture anyone leaving the recycling centre or Mortlake Crematorium on Townmead Road.
Councillors and residents are concerned about accessing key services and said people who are trying to save the planet or bury their loved ones could end up being penalised.
Angry residents were also quick to point out the contradiction of cutting back emissions while dissuading people from recycling.
Frances Mary, 28, a content writer who also lives just off Townmead Road, said: ‘It’s frustrating to see those wishing to do good being penalised.
James Coleman, 36, a business director who lives nearby, said: ‘It’s a sting in the tail for people wanting to recycle or bury their loved ones at the cemetery’
Drivers of vehicles which do not comply with minimum emissions standards are being now being charged £12.50-a-day
A camera will capture anyone leaving the recycling centre or Mortlake Crematorium (pictured) on Townmead Road
‘While it may not be a large number of motorists who are affected, any barrier to recycling doesn’t help the bigger picture.
‘I just wish a little more thought had gone into the boundary line. To go out of the way to include this in the ULEZ zone doesn’t seem right.’
But Mayor Sadiq Khan has refused to grant any exemptions, saying 80 per cent of drivers will not be affected.
He urged residents to use an alternative centre in Hounslow if their vehicle exceeds the ULEZ threshold and they do not wish to be charged.
In his letter, the mayor wrote: ‘The aim of ULEZ is to reduce harmful emissions from road transport.
‘This is important because poor air quality stunts the growth of children’s lungs and worsens chronic illness such as asthma and heart disease.
‘A study from Imperial College London found that in 2019 toxic air contributed to the premature deaths of more than 4,000 Londoners.’
Mr Khan added: ‘Richmond residents who have vehicles that do not meet the standards and do not want to pay the ULEZ charge, or do not want to use a waste collection service, can use the Space Waye reuse and recycling centre in Hounslow.’
MailOnline has contacted the Mayor of London’s officer for a comment.
The zone now encompasses areas within the north and south circular roads and has been expanded in a bid to tackle air pollution and reduce NO2 levels which can be harmful to lungs
Will you face a vehicle emissions tax where you live? Pollution zones are being rolled out across the country in the next 12 months, meaning many owners of older cars will either have to buy a new one or face hefty charges
It comes after three in five motorists admit to being unaware London’s pollution charge zone for older vehicles was being expanded today as 130,000 drivers face being landed with the £12.50-a-day charge.
Only 43 per cent of drivers said they are aware of the expansion, according to the study by car sales website Motorway.
Just a third (35 per cent) surveyed by car selling site Motorway knew how to check if their vehicle is compliant with ULEZ while even fewer were confident about the extended zone’s new boundaries, the poll of more than 2,000 revealed.
Three quarters of the panel surveyed live in Greater London and the remainder within an hour of the capital – and the research was conducted just weeks ahead of the expansion, between 6 and 13 October.
Mayor of London Mr Khan defended the expansion on Monday, telling BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: ‘For me this is an issue of social justice.
‘Who do we think suffers the worst consequences of toxic air? It’s the poorest Londoners, least likely to own a car. Black, Asian, minority ethnic Londoners. Six out of ten in the expanded area don’t even own a car.
‘And the area we’re going to be covering, the population of almost four million, is twice the size of Paris, eight times the size of Manchester – doing nothing is not an option.’
Former Tory mayoral candidate Shaun Bailey was among those criticising the move, tweeting: ‘My mum, my son and I are all asthmatics, so I am with everyone who wants to clean up our air. But there are more effective ways to tackle air pollution than the ULEZ, which will punish the poorest among us…’