More than £400m has been made in fees and penalties from vehicle emission schemes, including ULEZ, since March 2021, new research has concluded.
Figures obtained by carmaker Peugeot through freedom of information requests found that a total of £418m has been raked in across England since 2021, according to the Commons Library.
£320m of that figure was accumulated between October 2021 and April 2023 when the ULEZ zone was introduced inside the North and South Circular roads in London.
Starting next week, the controversial scheme will cover the whole of Greater London, with thousands of drivers being charged to enter the zone.
Meanwhile, Birmingham’s clean air zone (CAZ) allowed local authorities to take more than £79m from members of the public between June 2021 and April 2023, and Bath’s similar scheme collected nearly £10m in fees and penalties between March 2021 and May 2023.
Perhaps facing the most criticism has been Labour London mayor Sadiq Khan.
“There’s genuine anger,” Harrow Tory Councillor Matthew Goodwin-Freeman wrote in VoteWatch last week. “Anger at a Mayor that has dragged us to this point. Anger at an overwhelming majority from a consultation seemingly ignored from the start as the ghastly Big Brother cameras pop up on every traffic light you see. Anger at the fact no-one can seem to get through to London’s rogue Mayor.
“And it’s the hardest working, lowest income, working class Londoners who will pay the heaviest price. And no, the vast majority get nothing from Sadiq’s £110 million sCRAPpage scheme – while he blames the Government for not giving him more money for it, as if his £19 billion budget and the £6 billion TfL bailout wasn’t enough! Yep, even his financial incompetence is someone else’s fault. Nothing is ever his.
“In exactly one month, Sadiq Khan’s second ULEZ expansion seems set to happen. Overnight, millions of Londoners face being charged £12.50 every day for popping to the shops, picking up the kids, driving to A&E, or going to the station to catch the already expensive Underground. The cost of living just became the cost of London (plus an additional £4,500 a year to pay ULEZ charges). It’s Sadiq Khan’s London tax (but that doesn’t win votes, so he’s called it something greener and softer to make people believe it’s doing something to protect the environment: the definition of greenwashing).”