Sadiq Khan Faces Criticism from Londoners in Heated Debate over TfL

Audience members question Sadiq Khan about Ulez expansion at Peoples' Question Time.

London Mayor accused of deception and money-making schemes as Ulez expands

Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, found himself at the receiving end of scathing criticism from Londoners during a recent People’s Question Time event. The focus of the heated debate was the Ultra Low Emission Zone (Ulez) expansion, with one audience member accusing Khan of spreading “lies” and suggesting that the Ulez measures were actually closing London.

The audience member launched a furious rant against the Mayor, labeling Ulez as “appalling” and alleging that it was merely a tactic to replenish Transport for London’s (TfL) budget. She implored Khan to consider the financial burden placed on Londoners with non-compliant cars, highlighting the case of a friend who now had to pay £1,300 per year to visit his disabled sister outside of London due to Ulez charges. She questioned whether the scheme was truly about improving air quality and making the city more accessible, or if it was primarily a revenue-generating scheme for TfL and Khan himself.

In response, Khan defended Ulez and highlighted several changes implemented to support Londoners with non-compliant cars. He mentioned allocating more funds to the scrappage scheme, which provides financial assistance to eligible residents for scrapping vehicles that do not meet Ulez emissions standards. Khan emphasized that every family, business, and charity in London is now eligible for support, with disabled individuals also granted a grace period.

Another audience member raised concerns about the impact of the Ulez charges on businesses, contending that the expansion in outer London would result in financial ruin and gridlocked traffic. In his rebuttal, Khan pointed to a one-month report from TfL, which indicated a significant increase in vehicle compliance with Ulez regulations. He cited the positive progress made since the precursor to Ulez was launched in 2017, with 85% of vehicles compliant during the consultation period for the outer London expansion.

While Khan faced criticism from Londoners during the debate, it is worth noting that Susan Hall, the Conservative Party’s mayoral candidate, also expressed her disdain for the Ulez expansion, labeling it an “absolute disgrace.”

The contentious Ulez measures continue to ignite passionate debates among Londoners, highlighting the ongoing concerns and challenges associated with improving air quality and transportation in the city. As the expansion progresses, it remains to be seen how the scheme will impact London’s residents, businesses, and overall mobility in the coming months. Story Source

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