Taxpayers Burdened with Hefty Bill as Ambulances Rush to Meet Emission Standards
The National Health Service (NHS) is grappling with a staggering £65 million expense to make its ambulance fleet compliant with Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) regulations. This hefty sum, revealed through Freedom of Information requests, underscores the financial strain on the healthcare system as it scrambles to replace 534 vehicles by October 2025.
Each new ULEZ-compliant ambulance comes with a price tag of £140,000, a substantial investment for the NHS. The fleet, comprising 279 ambulances from the South East Coast Ambulance Service and 255 from the London Ambulance Service, currently enjoys a temporary exemption granted by Transport for London (TfL). However, the clock is ticking for the NHS to overhaul its fleet.
Tory chairman Richard Holden lambasted the financial burden placed on the NHS and taxpayers. “These revelations are shocking – even by Mayor Khan’s standards. Taxing hardworking people to simply drive their cars was bad enough – but Mayor Khan hammering our NHS ambulance services with tens of millions of pounds of extra cost, just to do their job and get to patients to hospital is downright disgraceful,” Holden stated.
He emphasised the unfairness of taxpayers shouldering the cost of what he describes as “another one of Sadiq Khan’s ideologically obsessive vanity projects.”
The ULEZ initiative, aimed at reducing pollution and promoting cleaner air in urban areas, places a significant financial burden on public services. While the environmental benefits are clear, the cost implications for essential services like the NHS are substantial and contentious. Story Source