Greater London may become a ‘no-go area for SMEs’ when the ULEZ expansion comes into effect, a leading trade body has said.
The Builders Merchants Federation (BMF) has written to mayor of London Sadiq Khan warning of the knock-on effects of the change on tradespeople, customers and its members.
The Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) is expanding across all London boroughs from 29 August, to improve London’s air quality and people’s health.
A £12.50 daily fee will be charged for non-compliant vehicles. This extends to diesel vans registered before September 2016 and petrol vans registered before January 2006.
But BMF CEO John Newcomb said the expanded zone will impact a “significant proportion” of SMEs operating within the M25, whose livelihoods rely on non-compliant vehicles.
“We can foresee a reluctance on their part to accept new work within the Greater London Boundary,” he added. “This will have a knock-on effect for end customers, who will find it more difficult and costly to get work done. It will also affect sales turnover at merchant outlets within the new boundary, which will have consequences on the amounts of stock held and on their staffing levels.”
The BMF, and several of its members, including Travis Perkins, Selco, and Lords, asked the mayor to reconsider.
“We believe the introduction of the ULEZ extension will hurt the very people it is designed to assist. Transport for London should look to delay the introduction until such time as the current high level of inflation reduces, so those affected can afford to change their vehicles,” said Lords CEO, Shanker Patel.
Frank Elkins, chief operating officer of Travis Perkins, added: “Although we fully appreciate the need to drive the impact of emissions down across the whole country, we are asking for more time for residents, tradespersons and workers to be able to adapt.”
“The proposed ULEZ expansion will hurt the residents, workers and tradespeople of London alike, at a time when many are already experiencing great financial hardship with the current cost of living crisis in the UK,” said Selco CEO, Howard Luft.
Do you agree? Send your responses to firstname.lastname@example.org
Enjoyed this? Try £1.3bn Trans-Pennine project – Balfour, Costain, Keltbray & Kier
Get industry news in 5 minutes!
A daily email that makes industry news enjoyable. It’s completely free.