I recognise the anxieties that rising costs and inflation have brought residents over the past number of months. I am assured that the Prime Minister is committed to halving inflation by the end of the year to ease the cost of living and provide financial security.
Having witnessed a rise in inflation last year, it is encouraging to see this now beginning to fall, according to the most recent data. As such, the cost of energy and fuel is decreasing, and I hope that residents are seeing this reflected in their bills and at the pumps.
While this is welcome news for many households, Mayor Khan’s decision to expand the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) across the whole of Greater London will hit residents’ pockets, potentially facing charges of £12.50 per day to drive their vehicle if non-compliant. While we all know the importance of tackling poor air quality in the capital, it is clear that ULEZ is not the solution.
Only recently, Martin Lewis raised concerns that are shared with many of my constituents about the timing and practicality of the Mayor’s decision. I have heard from constituents regularly over the past few months who are concerned about the increased costs will have on their ability to use their cars to get to work, look after children or attend important hospital appointments.
I have written and spoken at length over the impact of ULEZ as well as hosting a series of meetings with Ministers and other stakeholders. In Parliament, I have had the chance to raise the issue a number of time most recently with the Prime Minister himself.
At the weekly Prime Minister’s Questions, I asked the Prime Minister about revelations in the Telegraph last month about the Mayor’s consultation on this issue. Colleagues at the GLA identified discrepancies within the results and raised concerns about possible manipulation in the process. In his response, the Prime Minister outlined the sympathy he feels for those impacted and expressed his disappointment with the Mayor’s decision to proceed with the expansion.
As the decision to expand ULEZ lies solely with the Mayor, it is vital that locally elected representatives are the ones to voice their concerns. To that end, I am grateful to both Hillingdon and Harrow council who remain committed to opposing Mayor Khan’s decision. Both councils have joined with other outer London boroughs in refusing to agree that TfL can progress with their plan and are considering what legal measures are available to them. I remain grateful for their work behind the scenes, and I will continue to do what I can to support them.
As ever, if you would like to meet with me to discuss any issues or concerns you may have, please do get in contact with my office via email@example.com or 0203 545 2462.
First published: My Local News, February 2023