Mayor urged to help more Londoners scrap polluting cars
Londoners earning less than £30,000 a year should be given help to scrap their vehicle if it breaches the Ultra Low Emission Zone rules, Sadiq Khan has been told. In a London Assembly motion, City Hall Tories have urged the Mayor to expand the eligibility for grants of £2,000 to replace a car and £1,000 for a motorbike to enable motorists to avoid the £12.50-a-day charge.
The proposed change would bring London into line with Birmingham City Council, with motorists working in the zone able to apply for grants if they earn less than £30,000 a year.
Under Transport for London's current rules, only Londoners receiving certain benefits are eligible to apply for scrappage grants.
The GLA Conservatives have identified £50 million to reopen the schemes, helping Londoners, small businesses and charities to scrap non-ULEZ compliant vans, minibuses and heavy vehicles. The sizable investment, which would nearly double the funding for TfL's scrappage schemes, would be paid for using City Hall's bloated Business Rates Reserve.
Susan Hall AM, Leader of the GLA Conservatives, commented: “With under two months until the Ultra Low Emission Zone expansion, Sadiq Khan has left thousands of Londoners with no help to scrap their vehicle and avoid the charge.
“Two of Transport for London’s scrappage schemes for vans and heavy vehicles have been suspended since last summer, leaving small businesses and sole traders with no help to scrap these vehicles. The third scheme for cars and motorcycles is underfunded, with only a third of applicants receiving a pay-out, and too narrow, excluding Londoners with low incomes who don’t receive benefits.
“That’s why we’re calling for the Mayor to offer £50 million in new scrappage grants to help Londoners prepare for ULEZ expansion. It would not only throw Londoners a lifeline but help clean up our city’s air by speeding up the removal of older, polluting cars.
“The sizeable investment would reopen the closed schemes for vans and heavy vehicles, helping sole traders, small businesses and charities prepare for ULEZ. It would also enable the Mayor to widen the scheme for cars and motorbikes to offer grants to Londoners who earn under £30,000, as Birmingham City Council does.
“There’s only two months until ULEZ expands. I urge Sadiq Khan to listen to our plan and work with us to help Londoners ditch their polluting vehicles – and avoid the punitive charge.”
Full Motion The London Assembly calls on the Mayor of London to use £50 million from City Hall’s business rate reserve to invest in Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) scrappage schemes. This investment should be used to reopen the two suspended schemes for vans and heavy vehicles to help sole traders, small businesses, and charities scrap or retrofit these older vehicles.
The Mayor should use the money to widen the third scheme to help low income Londoners earning less than £30,000 to scrap cars and motorcycles. These new grants should offer Londoners either a grant which can be used to buy a new vehicle or the equivalent in travel credits to encourage more people to use public transport where possible.
This Assembly recognises that many Londoners rely on their vehicle but cannot afford the ULEZ expansion charge or to buy a cleaner vehicle. That’s why this Assembly believes the Mayor has a duty to use his considerable resources to help Londoners, businesses and charities switch to cleaner modes of transport ahead of the ULEZ expansion in October 2021.