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  • Writer's pictureNick Rogers AM

Majority oppose Sadiq Khan’s ULEZ expansion - new YouGov poll

  • New YouGov poll shows 60% of Londoners oppose Sadiq Khan’s ULEZ expansion, when ‘don’t know’ responses are excluded.


  • 51% of respondents think the ULEZ should not be expanded, 34% think it should be expanded, and 15% don’t know. The survey took place from 10th-15th November 2022.


  • The poll echoes the leaked results of the official ULEZ consultation, reported in the Telegraph, where 66% of respondents voted against the ULEZ expansion.


  • The news comes ahead of a critical vote in the London Assembly today (Thursday), where Assembly Members will have the opportunity to vote down Sadiq Khan’s amended Transport Strategy and potentially stop the ULEZ expansion.


A new YouGov poll commissioned by the GLA Conservatives has found a majority oppose Sadiq Khan’s ULEZ expansion.


60% of respondents oppose the expansion, once “don’t know” responses are excluded. The full results are:

  • 51% of respondents think the ULEZ should not be expanded

  • 34% think it should be expanded

  • 15% don’t know.


The poll aligns with the leaked results of the official consultation, reported in the Telegraph in October, which found 66% of respondents to the consultation voted against the expansion.


It comes ahead of a critical vote in the London Assembly today (Thursday), where Assembly Members will have the opportunity to vote down Sadiq Khan’s amendment to his Transport Strategy and potentially prevent the ULEZ expansion from going ahead by a two-thirds majority.


The ULEZ expansion would be a ‘cost of living charge’


Under the Mayor’s proposals, non-compliant vehicles who drive within the new boundaries would have been forced to pay a daily £12.50 ‘cost of living charge,’ punishing Londoners who cannot afford to upgrade their vehicles during the cost of living crisis. Disabled people would be disproportionately affected, as they may require expensive vehicle-specific adaptations to upgrade their cars.


The ULEZ expansion was primarily designed as a revenue raising measure for the Mayor and would not meaningfully affect air quality or climate change. Earlier this year, an integrated impact assessment commissioned by the Mayor found that the proposed expansion would have no effect on particulate emissions or particulate quality, and a negligible effect on nitrogen dioxide levels.


Many small businesses warned they may have to close down if they and their customers were forced to pay the daily ‘cost of living charge.’ Those who have spoken out publicly include a small coffee van business in Harrow (source), a greengrocers in Surbiton (source), and a tea and coffee house in Bexley (source).


The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) said of those small businesses with non-compliant vehicles, nearly 1 in 5 (18%) said they would close if the ULEZ is expanded (source). 25% intend to pass charges onto customers, and others have said they would stop serving London. The survey also found 84% of their respondents opposed the proposal to expand the ULEZ.


The ULEZ expansion would have cost taxpayers over £250 million in new signage, cameras and infrastructure, according to TfL estimates. This is more than three times the Mayor’s entire cost of living support package (£80m).


Sadiq Khan must listen to the consultation, or he could be subject to legal challenge


Consultations held by public bodies must comply with the law, the key principles of which are set out in the Gunning Principles. If Sadiq Khan refuses to give ‘conscientious consideration’ to the consultation responses, or if it is clear that the policy decision was ‘predetermined’, those affected by the ULEZ expansion may have grounds to pursue legal action against TfL and the Mayor’s Office.


If the consultation is found to be illegitimate, this could also put TfL’s finances at risk. Sadiq Khan was required to hold a consultation on the ULEZ expansion by the TfL financial settlement agreement with the Government. If the consultation is found to be illegitimate, he may be in breach of this agreement.


Nick Rogers AM says Sadiq Khan must scrap the policy


Nick Rogers AM, GLA Conservatives transport spokesperson, said:


“This poll reaffirms what we and the Mayor already know: an overwhelming majority of Londoners are opposed to Sadiq Khan’s ULEZ expansion.
“His ULEZ expansion would be devastating for small businesses and low income families. The Mayor has no mandate to pursue this policy, which has been rejected by an overwhelming majority in the official consultation and in representative polling.”
“London Assembly Members must vote to stop Sadiq Khan’s ULEZ expansion today.”


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