Several London boroughs have told City Hall they are interested in creating “zero emission zones”, London’s deputy mayor has revealed.
The zones, proposed by London Mayor Sadiq Khan in his 2018 transport strategy and re-committed to earlier this year would require all vehicles not capable of operating with zero exhaust emissions to pay road user charges.
Khan, who chairs the C40 network of mayors around the world concerned about climate action, recently launched an initiative with Mayor of Milan Giuseppe Sala, designed “to accelerate the implementation of policies that will lead to zero emission areas by 2030”, C40 said on their website.
But Shirley Rodrigues, London’s Deputy Mayor for the Environment, said that while several boroughs had expressed interest in having zones in their areas, there were no plans currently “on the table for them”.
Asked about the zones at a meeting of the London Assembly’s Environment Committee, Rodrigues replied: “There is a policy in the Mayor’s transport strategy that we have been working to, in terms of understanding how that might work in London.
“We’ve been trying to support local authorities who want to do that, so very many from central London, from Hackney, Islington, the Corporation of the City of London, have all expressed interest in these areas.
“But at the moment we are completely focused on implementing the [expanded] Ultra low emission zone (ULEZ) in August.”
The ULEZ currently covers the area inside the North and South Circular Roads, but Mr Khan intends to expand the zone to cover all of Greater London – effectively taking it up to most roads inside the M25 motorway – on 29 August.
Drivers of non-compliant vehicles within the ULEZ have to pay a daily charge of £12.50.
Rodrigues argued that central London was effectively a zero emission zone already.
“Essentially the central London area is a zero emission zone, because you have to pay a congestion charge unless you are an electric vehicle, a zero emission vehicle…
“But we have no proposals on the table for a zero emission zone.
“At the moment, we’re focused on the air pollution reduction that we need to see in London to protect Londoners’ health.”
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