Anti-ULEZ London boroughs installed the fewest electric car chargers

Sadiq Khan grilled on popularity of ULEZ scheme

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New data has shown that boroughs on the outskirts of London that are opposed to the new expansion of the ULEZ are doing the least the help their residents switch to greener forms of transport. Figures sourced directly from all 33 London boroughs show that nearly all of the boroughs that have installed the fewest electric vehicle charge points are now calling for the ULEZ expansion to be scrapped or weakened. 

Boroughs opposed to ULEZ expansion have installed fewer than 100 chargepoints on average.

In comparison, the boroughs that support the August 2023 expansion have installed over 450 on average.

As of October 2022, Havering, Harrow, Hillingdon, Bexley, Barking & Dagenham and Bromley had between them installed fewer than 200 public EV charge points.

This is equivalent to just over 10 percent of the total installed in the single best-performing borough for EV charging, Hammersmith and Fulham.

Havering in East London had still not installed any public electric vehicle charge points on its streets at all, according to climate charity Possible.

Harrow council has announced it is preparing to spend up to £400,000 of local taxpayers’ money contesting the ULEZ expansion in court. 

But figures from the Government’s Office of Zero Emission Vehicles show it has successfully applied for less than half this amount in grant funding for public EV chargepoints, and has so far spent just £70,000 on installing them. 

Similarly, data from the Healthy Streets Scorecard coalition, found that anti-ULEZ boroughs also receive some of lowest scores in the capital for protected cycle lanes and bus priority lanes. 

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Croydon has the least protected cycle lane of any outer London borough, and amongst anti-ULEZ boroughs only Barking and Dagenham performs better than the London average for bike lanes.

Bexley and Bromley are bottom of the London league for the percentage of their bus routes that have bus priority lanes, and every anti-ULEZ borough has worse than average bus lane coverage. 

Leo Murray, co-director of Possible, said: “It is deeply ironic to hear these councils demand the Mayor does more to support Londoners to switch to greener transport when they’ve barely lifted a finger to do so themselves. 

“Against a backdrop of failure and negligence in their own jurisdictions, bad faith complaints about the impacts of ULEZ expansion on constituents ring very hollow. 

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“If people living in these boroughs feel trapped driving dirty vehicles, then perhaps their councils should be using the powers and funding available to them to help residents clean up their travel, instead of carping from the sidelines.”

London Mayor Sadiq Khan plans to expand the ULEZ zone on August 29, 2023, and will cover all 32 boroughs and the City of London.

The ULEZ will now include an additional five million people when it encompasses the City of London and all 32 boroughs later this year.

While carbon emissions from road transport have been falling across the whole of London, progress is highly uneven.

Emissions have actually been increasing in anti-ULEZ boroughs Havering, Bexley, Bromley, Croydon and Harrow over the years leading up to the pandemic. 

Possible said for the capital’s climate targets to be met, outer London councils need to act to reverse these trends.

It has been suggested that car traffic needs to fall across the capital by an unprecedented 27 percent minimum by 2030.

Harmful NO2 (nitrogen dioxide) concentrations alongside roads in inner London are estimated to be 20 percent lower than they would have been without the ULEZ and its expansion. 

In central London, NO2 concentrations are estimated to be 44 percent lower than they would have been.

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