Croydon Council divided over ULEZ expansion vote

Traffic in London Pic: citytransportinfo

The expansion of the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) to Croydon has been opposed by the Council’s Mayor, Jason Perry.

Perry said he would not sign the agreement despite the Croydon Council’s vote in favour of the opposite. He added that his position and the legality of the London Mayor’s decisions could be subject to a judicial review.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, first announced the official expansion plan in November 22 that would affect all Greater London boroughs. He recently gave all Conservative councils until this Thursday to sign the agreement but he has the power to proceed with certain extensions anyway.

Conservative councillors called on the full council to reconsider Khan’s plans to extend the ULEZ to Croydon at the council meeting, expressing concern about the economic impact of the decision on Croydon residents and businesses.

The vote to rethink council position on the issue ended in a win for the 34 Labour Councillors, as they won the vote with the support of three Green Party and Liberal Democrats Councillors against 33 Conservative Councillors.

After the meeting, Croydon Conservative Councillor Alasdair Stewart said he was happy to vote against expansion and was disappointed with the Labour, Green and Liberal Democrats councillors.

Despite the council vote, Perry still holds the power to not go forward with signing the agreement for the ULEZ expansion.

Perry said: “For many Croydonians, their car is the only reliable option to get around given the reduced public transport options compared with inner London.”

2011 stats by ONS show 41% of those who live or work in Croydon drive a car as their preferred method of travel. According to recent mobile phone data, this number has been expected to grow.

Perry further criticised Khan by saying that his own studies proved this expansion would have little positive impact and added: “[This] plan will force hundreds of Croydon residents to pay £12.50 a day just to drive their car.”

Councillors who stood on the other side of the debate celebrated their win after the council meeting.

Labour Councillor Sean Fitzsimons said this was a vote to protect people’s health against air pollution.

The Green Party Councillor, Peter Underwood, tweeted: “Croydon Conservatives don’t care about you, your health or young children’s futures.” The Green Party member and Croydon resident added that the ULEZ expansion was the right step after the 10th anniversary of the passing of Ella Adoo-Kissi-Debrah, first person in the world to have died due to air pollution.

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