A pensioner said he would consider parking in Hertfordshire if London’s ULEZ was extended to the entire capital to avoid being hit by a daily £12.50 fee.
David Brand, 86, said Sadiq Khan could be forced to take drastic measures if he implements stricter emissions measures at Harrow next year.
David said this could include parking his car in Hertfordshire, which is a few yards from his home in Stanmore and would be outside the ultra-low emissions zone.
He also said that he may have to get rid of his silver Vauxhall Calibra, which he has had for almost 20 years.
Mr Brand said: “It’s a complete joke. They can’t expect people to pay £12.50 a day. My pension won’t cover it. It will take away my only real form of transport. As much as I can about it.” I think I get so angry.
“What’s to stop me from leaving my car at the border in Hertfordshire? And if everyone else does it, they’ll get annoyed, makes sense. So where does it stop?”
The former electrical engineer, who volunteered for the Royal Air Force, said the scheme would penalize those who rely on their cars, especially the elderly and disabled. He described the potential expansion as a “slap in the face”, with many facing difficulties at the moment.
Mr Brand said: “You have people who can’t buy food, can’t afford to heat their homes and now they want to take away another freedom. What about all the vans and lorries? going out of business.”
Read more: Consultancy launched to expand ULEZ across Greater London
He acknowledged there needs to be a dialogue about the damage to the environment, but said there are other ways to tackle the issue without charging residents a fee.
Mr Brand said the expansion of the ULEZ would be “seriously damaging” to Mr Khan and the Labor Party.
It is a view shared by the Conservative-run Harrow Council, with some councilors indicating it would be so divisive that it would hurt Mr Khan’s chances of re-election if he wants to contest in 2024.
Last week, the council passed a resolution outlining “strong opposition” to the plans and calling on the mayor to spend the money earmarked for expansion on other eco-friendly transportation improvements.
Clar Paul Osborne, leader of Harrow Council, said: “We are about to declare a cost of living emergency and yet we are passing this cost on to Harrow residents. It is not the people who can afford to replace their cars. However, it will be the poorest people and businesses who are struggling who will be forced to pay this fee.
“We wish to make it clear that the London Borough of Harrow opposes this and we will do everything in our power to challenge it, even if necessary, in the courts.”
Read more: ULEZ Expansion – View Full Proposed Expansion Map
When he announced the consultation on the proposed extension, which ended yesterday, Mr Khan said it was important that London takes action to tackle climate change. He said: “The triple challenges of tackling toxic air pollution, the climate emergency and overcrowding mean we need to further reduce vehicular emissions in London.
“We don’t have time to waste. The climate emergency means we have a small window of opportunity to reduce carbon emissions to help save the planet.