Van drivers will be hit by Sadiq Khan’s Ulez expansion with up to 30,000 driving non-compliant vehicles having to fork out £3,100 a year in charges
Tradesmen face huge bills under Sadiq Khan‘s ultra-low emission zone expansion – because of a lack of compliant vans for sale.
The zone will be expanded to cover the entire capital from August 29 in a move the London mayor insists is about boosting air quality.
It will mean more vehicles that do not meet minimum emissions standards will have to pay a £12.50 fee which goes to Transport for London (TfL).
A report commissioned by TfL estimates 30,000 non-compliant vans currently use the Ulez expansion area each day.
Sadiq Khan was accused kicking out more than 5,000 votes opposing his controversial expansion to London’s Ultra-low emission zone
Tory MP Gareth Bacon, has rallied against the expansion of Ulez, which will cover his constituency of Orpington
But figures from Auto Trader – which says it is used by around 80% of UK vehicle retailers – show there are just 5,181 vans for sale across London and south-east England on its online marketplace.
Its total for the UK is 23,803.
To avoid the Ulez fee, diesel vehicles, which make up the majority of vans, must be Euro 6 standard – which generally covers those registered from 2016.
A tradesman entering the zone in an older van every working day will rack up more than £3,100 a year in charges.
Drivers who fail to pay face a £160 penalty each day, which is halved if paid within a fortnight.
The average price of a diesel van that meets the emissions standards is £23,972 on Auto Trader.
That is £6,500 more than for a non-compliant van.
An Auto Trader spokesman said: ‘This will be a real worry for thousands of van drivers already struggling to cope with high inflation.
‘The number of Ulez-compliant vans for sale in London and the South East is just a fraction of the estimated 30,000 vans affected, leaving the majority facing the prospect of paying thousands of pounds extra to get to work.’
Sadiq Khan is pushing ahead with plans to extend the Ulez, despite strong opposition from Tory MPs. The boundary from 29 August 29 will go around all 33 London boroughs
The Ulez is currently limited to within the capital’s North and South Circular roads.
A spokesman for Mr Khan said: ‘The mayor has been clear that the decision to expand the ultra-low emission zone London-wide was one of the hardest he’s had to make, but with around 4,000 Londoners still dying from toxic air it was a necessary one.
‘Eighty-five per cent of vehicles in outer London are already Ulez-compliant.
‘For those that aren’t, the mayor has announced the biggest scrappage scheme yet – £110 million – to help micro businesses and Londoners who need it most amid the cost of living crisis, including low income and disabled Londoners.’
Rishi Sunak last week urged the mayor to ‘properly reconsider’ the zone’s expansion after thousands of people expressed their opposition through consultation responses.
At Prime Minister’s Questions, Mr Sunak said: ‘It is disappointing that the mayor, backed by the Leader of the Opposition (Sir Keir Starmer), is choosing not to listen to the public, expanding the zone against the overwhelming views of residents and business.
‘I urge the mayor to properly reconsider and respond to these serious concerns.’