London businesses need more time to prepare before the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) is expanded

Tuesday 2 August 2022

The London Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the capital’s largest independent business advocacy organisation, has submitted a response to TfL and the Mayor of London’s consultation on the expansion of ULEZ and a future road user charging scheme, calling for more consideration to be given to businesses in London.

While LCCI wholeheartedly supports the Mayor’s effort to improve air quality for Londoners and to reduce the city’s carbon emissions, this must not be at the expense of London businesses who have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic, labour shortages and the cost of doing business crisis. The Chamber urges the Mayor of London and TfL to take into account the issues we raise and to engage with businesses in the capital to find a tangible solution.

One of these key issues raised by LCCI is that businesses have not been granted as much time to prepare for the expansion of ULEZ, which will limit the ability of firms to make adequate preparations and to switch to ULEZ compliant vehicles before 29 August 2023. There is currently a high demand for new and second-hand vehicles, due in part to the pressure of the supply of semiconductor chips which could lead to unnecessary business costs and anxiety, especially for small businesses that may be unable to shoulder the weight of upfront costs.  The Chamber also highlighted that a sufficient scrappage scheme must be put in place to support firms transition to new vehicles

Regarding the consultation on the future of road user charging in London, LCCI was encouraged to see Transport for London and the Mayor of London discuss a scheme that should help London achieve its ambitions for reaching next zero. However, the Chamber strongly advises the parties involved to reach an agreement on a ‘smart’ road user charging scheme which takes into account the requirement of many businesses that have no choice but to use a vehicle for work and are restricted on the times that they drive.

Commenting on the consultation, Richard Burge, Chief Executive of the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said:

“We are very pleased to see that TfL and the Mayor of London are taking steps to reduce air pollution in London, but we urge both parties to consider the impact of these proposals on London businesses who are essential to the economy of our capital. Any policies that are rushed and fail to take into account the requirements of businesses will have short and long term consequences on our city. We hope that the Chamber can engage further with both parties to represent the interests of London businesses.”

Read LCCI’s full response here.