‘ULEZ expansion puts night workers & economy under siege’

By Nikkie Thatcher

- Last updated on GMT

City charge: the expanded ULEZ area now includes all of the London boroughs (image: Getty/holgs)
City charge: the expanded ULEZ area now includes all of the London boroughs (image: Getty/holgs)

Related tags Legislation London

The expanded Ultra Low Emission Zone, (ULEZ) which from today (Tuesday 29 August) includes all of London’s borough’s has been slammed by one trade body.

The scheme means drivers have to pay a £12.50 charge to drive a non-compliant vehicle anywhere in the zone.

This must be paid online or by phone up to three days after travelling with a penalty for not paying reaching up to £180.

The Night-Time Industries Association (NTIA) blasted the ‘poorly conceived midnight threshold’ as well as the removal of the day travel passes ‘underscores a shocking lack of consideration for the city’s workforce’.

Double whammy

The organisation stated while it acknowledged the significance of embracing environmental sustainability, the measures fail to strike a reasonable equilibrium between ecological concerns and the safety and vitality of the workforce and economy.

It has demanded an immediate revaluation of the measures, calling for collaboration with stakeholders across sectors.

NTIA chief executive Michael Kill said: “The midnight threshold unfairly condemns countless night workers who are unable to afford compliant vehicles to a double whammy of charges as they diligently fulfil their duties during unconventional hours.

“It also brings into question how many night workers are paying double when public transport is limited due to industrial chaos."

Long-standing issue

He added: “This long-standing issue will be further compounded by further policy changes, which will see parking fines increase and the imposition of outrageous charges for using the Blackwall Tunnel.

“These unjustified financial impositions, coupled with the impending removal of the day travel pass in January, are unmistakeable signals that London’s authorities are turning their back on the very essence of accessibility, safety and inclusivity.”

This followed research from the trade body earlier in the summer (June) revealed 36,990 night workers were at risk​ of being charged twice in one shift under the scheme.

Furthermore, it means drivers of non-compliant vehicles whose shifts cross over the midnight threshold will be charged twice – for the 24-hour periods pre and post-midnight.

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