City Hall Tories unveiled a plan today to double the funding for Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) scrappage schemes to help Londoners switch to cleaner vehicles ahead of its expansion in October 2021.
The plan comes after Sadiq Khan failed to find new funding to open the two scrappage schemes that Transport for London (TfL) suspended due to high demand last summer. 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. The new funding could help scrap more than 7,000 vans, minibuses and heavy goods vehicles. The additional funding could be split across all three existing scrappage schemes to help TfL meet demand.
London-wide Assembly Member Susan Hall urged Sadiq Khan to urgently implement the Conservative plan to give the capital a green recovery. Ms Hall warned Khan that his decision to extend the ULEZ charge to the North and South Circulars later this year would hammer struggling Londoners, jeopardising the capital's recovery. She said that reopening TfL's scrappage schemes was the "least he could do".
Susan Hall AM, Leader of the GLA Conservatives, commented: "Londoners are committed to improving our city's air quality, but many simply cannot afford to replace their older vehicles. Our plan would offer £50 million in new grants to help Londoners, small businesses and charities switch to greener alternatives.
"Sadiq Khan's failure to reopen two of TfL's scrappage schemes means thousands of dirty vehicles are still on London's roads. The Mayor must urgently take up our plan, which could remove more than 7,000 polluting vans, minibuses and heavy vehicles from our streets and save Londoners from Khan's huge ULEZ bill.
"Make no mistake, Sadiq Khan's ULEZ expansion plan is a tax on the poorest in London and the smallest of businesses. To make matters even worse, his failure to properly fund TfL's scrappage schemes has left struggling Londoners with no lifeline.
"After the pandemic, few Londoners can afford to replace their vehicles, so City Hall must step in. In his last budget, Sadiq Khan squirrelled away millions of pounds of the capital's business rates instead of investing in a green recovery. The Mayor could afford to invest £50 million of this money to double his scrappage scheme funding.
“Given the toll ULEZ expansion will place on Londoners who haven’t even had a chance to recover from the pandemic, it's the least he could do."