Zero-emission zones: Do any councils have plans for Zezs, after Sadiq Khan ditched central London scheme?
TfL said guidance for councils wishing to implement zero-emission zones has been available since 2019.
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Proposals for a zero-emission zone (Zez) in central London were included in the mayor’s 2018 transport strategy. Under the scheme, all petrol and diesel vehicles driven within the zone would be charged from 2025.
The news came right on the back of the expansion of the ULEZ to cover the whole of greater London.
Most drivers of non-compliant vehicles in the capital now have to pay a £12.50 daily charge, in a bid to cut the city’s air pollution.
The mayor came under pressure from a myriad of groups, including senior members of the Labour Party, to ditch the expansion, largely due to concerns about it being rolled out during a cost-of-living crisis.
In the BBC piece unveiling the central London Zez plans had been ditched, City Hall said it would support councils which wish to implement their own Zezs.
The mayor’s team further told LondonWorld guidance for councils wishing to introduce Zezs has been available since 2019, and that there is a “keen interest” from some boroughs.
So which central London councils are planning on implementing their own Zez? We contacted each local authority, plus a few just outside of central London, to find out.
A Camden Council spokesperson confirmed to LondonWorld it has no plans for a Zez.
Hackney Council did not say it intends on introducing a Zez, but that it does believe London “needs to explore road user charging”.
Cabinet member for climate change, environment and transport, Cllr Mete Coban said: “We are already on record to support measures to protect Londoners’ health through measures to reduce polluting vehicles - including the expansion of the Ultra Low Emissions Zone.
“However, in Hackney, we’re an importer of traffic, with 40% of vehicles just passing through without stopping. This is why we have said London needs to explore road user charging - and we have committed to work with TfL to investigate the feasibility of this.”
Kensington and Chelsea
A Kensington and Chelsea spokesperson had confirmed to the BBC it has no plans to implement such an emissions scheme.
Islington, Lambeth, Southwark, Tower Hamlets, Wandsworth and Westminster did not respond to a request for comment.
The mayor of London
A spokesperson for Mr Khan said: “The mayor is rolling out some of the most ambitious policies of any city in the world to clean up London’s air, including the expansion of the Ultra Low Emission zone next week, bringing cleaner air to 5 million more Londoners.
“Now the ULEZ has expanded London-wide it is one of the largest low pollution zones anywhere in the world. In addition, TfL continues to support boroughs who wish to implement local Zero Emission Zones in their local areas too.”
City Hall added since the commitment to Zezs was made, the “context has changed”, and that the mayor and TfL are focussed on achieving net zero by 2030.