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  • Writer's pictureLondon Fact Check

Fact Check: No, the government did not force Sadiq Khan to expand ULEZ

The claim:

That the government forced Sadiq Khan to implement the ULEZ expansion as a condition of the Transport for London (TfL) funding agreement.


This is inaccurate and misleading.

The claim is based on a letter from May 2020, which sets out the agreement that TfL and the Department for Transport (DfT) reached in exchange for a government bailout.

As part of the agreement, Sadiq Khan agreed to take further steps to ensure TfL would be financially sustainable in the future.

It was the Mayor's proposal and his decision in 2021 to expand the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) to the North and South Circular Roads, to raise extra money for TfL and improve its finances. It was not a requirement from the government.

Sadiq Khan's subsequent decision to expand ULEZ to the whole of Greater London was also not a requirement of the TfL deal. In fact, the government explicitly told the Mayor in the final settlement letter (August 2022) that he was not allowed to use the bailout money on the ULEZ expansion.

Sadiq Khan also confirmed that he was the decision maker at Mayor's Question Time in July 2022:

It is therefore not accurate to claim that the government has forced Sadiq Khan to expand ULEZ, or that it is a condition of the TfL funding deal.

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