ULEZ, LTNs and other clean-air schemes backed by majority of Londoners, polling suggests

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The survey indicates a majority of Londoners are in-favour of the ULEZ, and that more support the expansion than are opposed.

More Londoners back the expansion of the Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) than are opposed to it, new research has suggested, with support also indicated for a range of other clean-air schemes in the capital.

Initiatives such as low-traffic neighbourhoods (LTNs) and the congestion charge, under which drivers entering central London during peak hours must pay a £15 fee, are supported by a majority of the city’s residents, according to the survey.

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Undertaken by Redfield and Wilton Strategies, the polling of 1,100 Londoners found that 58% of respondents are in-favour of the introduction of LTNs, with just 17% opposed.

The congestion charge also received backing from 53%, while just over a quarter, 28%, oppose the scheme.

However, the effectiveness of LTNs in reducing car journeys was less conclusive. 43% said they cut vehicle trips, while the same percentage believe they simply redirect drivers onto other, nearby roads.

Cyclists riding through an LTN in London. Credit: TfL.Cyclists riding through an LTN in London. Credit: TfL.
Cyclists riding through an LTN in London. Credit: TfL. | TfL

Asked whether the congestion zone should be expanded to cover all of inner London, so up to the North and South Circular roads, the split was closer, with 45% in-favour, and 35% opposed.

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The research further found a majority of respondents back the ULEZ in its current guise. A total of 58% said they support the scheme, and more than half (52%) believe it has improved air quality in London.

However, while a large minority said they back the expansion to outer London (47%), more than the 32% opposed, those living in the city’s outer boroughs were evenly split, with 39% responding either way.

There was also more support among Londoners for keeping the ULEZ within its existing boundaries (37%) than expanding it to cover all of the capital (32%). 22% said they would like to see it scrapped altogether.

The ULEZ is due to be expanded to cover all of greater London on August 29. Credit: TfL/Google. The ULEZ is due to be expanded to cover all of greater London on August 29. Credit: TfL/Google.
The ULEZ is due to be expanded to cover all of greater London on August 29. Credit: TfL/Google. | TfL/Google

The ULEZ, under which most non-compliant vehicles must pay a £12.50 daily charge, was extended from covering central to all of inner London by the mayor, Sadiq Khan, in 2021.

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The next planned expansion of the zone, penned in for August 29, has come under fierce opposition since Mr Khan announced the move last November.

Five Conservative councils have taken the mayor and TfL to court over the planned ULEZ expansion. Credit: Ben Lynch.Five Conservative councils have taken the mayor and TfL to court over the planned ULEZ expansion. Credit: Ben Lynch.
Five Conservative councils have taken the mayor and TfL to court over the planned ULEZ expansion. Credit: Ben Lynch. | Ben Lynch

A spokesperson for Mr Khan said: “The mayor has been clear that the decision to expand the Ultra-Low Emission Zone London-wide was a difficult one, but necessary to protect the health of Londoners.

“We know the ULEZ works as it’s already allowed more than four million people to breathe cleaner air in inner London and harmful NO2 concentrations cut by nearly half in central London.

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“Representative YouGov polling of more than 1,200 Londoners showed the majority want the zone to be expanded London-wide, with nearly twice as many Londoners supporting the expansion than opposing it.

The mayor’s £110m scrappage scheme has already seen a strong uptake with more than £32.8m already committed to help Londoners take their older, more polluting vehicles off the road.

“The mayor announced his £110m scrappage scheme is extending this month to support hundreds of thousands more Londoners, including everyone receiving child benefit and all the capital’s small businesses and charities.”

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