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Ultra-low Emission Zone: Expansion

Volume 731: debated on Thursday 20 April 2023

5. What recent discussions he has had with Transport for London on plans to expand the Ultra-Low Emission Zone. (904450)

Transport in London is devolved to the Mayor of London, and he is accountable to the electorate for the decisions that he makes, including those regarding road schemes that charge users. We have been clear that Government grant funding, via the longer term funding settlement, cannot be used to cover the cost of implementing the scheme.

Several outer London boroughs have refused to enter into section 8 agreements with Transport for London to allow ULEZ cameras to be installed on their roads. Sadiq Khan believes that he can override the boroughs and install his hated ULEZ expansion without their permission. Ministers have previously said that they would get legal advice on that. What advice has been received?

My hon. Friend has been campaigning strongly on behalf of his constituents against the expansion of the ULEZ scheme. Under schedule 23 of the Greater London Authority Act 1999, the Mayor of London and Transport for London have the relevant statutory powers to install the infrastructure required for the expansion without obtaining the London boroughs’ consent. That reinforces my earlier answer that the Mayor of London is accountable. If electors in London do not like what is going on, they have the power to deal with it at the ballot box.

Properly funded scrappage schemes make a massive difference to ensuring that people transition to low-emission vehicles. This Government have provided funding for clean air zones and scrappage schemes in Bristol, Bath, Sheffield, Birmingham, Portsmouth and other areas around the country. The previous Conservative Mayor of London supported the London clean air zone, and it is recognised in the Government’s air quality strategy, so why have the Government not provided a single penny of scrappage funding for London since the introduction of the ULEZ in 2019?

Frankly, it is a bit rich for the hon. Lady to talk about this Government’s support for Transport for London. The latest TfL settlement supports almost £3.6 billion-worth of projects. This Government’s total funding to TfL has been more than £6 billion since the start of the pandemic. There are significant resources. The Mayor of London is expanding his ULEZ scheme—that is his decision, and it is therefore for him to fund the necessary scrappage scheme. If he does not want to fund a proper scrappage scheme, he should not be expanding the ULEZ.