The Conservative London Mayor candidate has pledged to stop the “tragic” expansion of the Ultra Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ) to outer London if he is elected as mayor in 2020.
Shaun Bailey promised to half the expansion of ULEZ to the North and South Circular Roads in October 2021, as Labour Mayor Sadiq Khan has proposed.
In April the zone will be introduced in central London, meaning anyone driving within it will have to meet certain emissions standards or be forced to pay a daily charge of £12.50.
Speaking about the scheme – which aims to reduce air pollution – Mr Bailey said that while the ULEZ will work in central London, extending it to the outer boroughs means it will “hit the poorest people”.
He said: “I don’t think the current mayor understands the impact of it on the poorest people.
“Those people using cars in outer London need them, they use them because they don’t have a choice and we need to get rid of the ULEZ in outer London.”
People who will particularly feel the impact of the ULEZ are residents in Chingford, who would have to drive through the emissions zone to get to their local hospital, Whipps Cross, in Leytonstone.
Mr Bailey said he visited people in the hospital who would be faced with the charge and said it really “rammed home” the impact expanding the ULEZ would have on people.
He said: “This is about people in hospital, people paying to visit elderly relatives, and people having to cross the north and south circular roads to take their children to school.”