Door & Hardware Federation (DHF) has today restated its commitment to members affected by the upcoming extension of London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ). This will commence on 29th August. The extension will significantly impact a multitude of business sectors including construction, and therefore a number of DHF members.
The Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 day of the year (except 25 December) and has been implemented in a bid to make the capital’s air, cleaner. The zone currently covers all areas within the North and South Circular Roads (with the exception of the A406 and A205). If a vehicle does not meet the ULEZ emissions standards, the driver will pay a £12.50 daily charge to drive within the zone. Currently, this applies to cars, motorcycles, vans, minibuses and specialist vehicles (up to and including 3.5 tonnes). Lorries, vans or specialist heavy vehicles (all over 3.5 tonnes) and buses, minibuses and coaches (all over 5 tonnes) do not need to pay the ULEZ charge. In addition, owners of non-UK registered vehicles will also need to meet the ULEZ emissions standards or pay the daily charge.
Although support is currently available, for example, a £110 million scrappage scheme has been launched to help fund the purchase of new vehicles that are ULEZ-compliant, and under the new scrappage fund, sole traders and tradespeople working for a micro-business (those with 10 employees and under) have been granted extra provisions of between £5,000-£9,000 to help transition to a low-polluting or EV alternative, nevertheless, paying a £12.50 daily fee for vehicles not meeting minimum requirements equates to more than £3,000 a year per vehicle.
“Whilst we fully support the need to cut emissions and protect the environment, we urge the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, to consider alternative ways to limit the impact that ULEZ will have on businesses in the construction industry including that he reassess this extension,” explains DHF’s Commercial Director, Patricia Sowsbery-Stevens.
“ The planned extension will seriously impact the income of construction businesses, and at a time when inflation remains very high and customers are delaying or cancelling projects due to higher costs and limited budgets, this will make the commercial environment even more challenging,” she continues.
“ULEZ will increase the cost of construction workers using vans to go to work, could cause construction workers to work longer hours to limit the number of times they need to travel into the centre, could cause construction companies to lose work due to the need to increase their prices to cover this additional cost on top of the cost-of-living crisis and increasing transport costs, and may potentially undermine the Mayor of London’s plea for construction workers to work in the Capital to help improve the city’s housing stock.
DHF cannot stress enough the considerable impact, not just on construction businesses, but on all businesses that have a legitimate reason to travel into the Ultra Low Emission Zone, and we hope that alternative options will be considered that prioritise small-to-medium-sized businesses operating in the capital.”