On 22 February, all the political parties across Elmbridge Borough Council restated their objections to the expansion of the Ultra Low Emissions Zone, as well supporting the need to extend zone 6 to all parts of Elmbridge.
Motion for Council – 22 February 2023 | Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ)
This Council notes the motion proposed by Cllr Cope and Cllr Burley that gained cross party support on the 7 December 2022 against the ULEZ proposals and supporting the extension of Zone 6 to all the Borough. It also notes that the Council has successfully secured meetings with Transport for London to discuss the concerns of Elmbridge residents and businesses, together with effective measures to mitigate the impact, with council officers having the full support of Councillors to pursue these discussions.
Until mitigation of this Council’s concerns including the negative impact on local businesses, and cost of living increase for residents takes place, we further agree, subject to statutory and legal obligations:
- to match the approach taken by Surrey County Council to withhold use or access to all Council owned or controlled land for the use of infrastructure or signage associated with the expansion of ULEZ; and
- (subject to the discussions referred to above) no Council officer or financial resource (including assets) will be made available to facilitate ULEZ expansion without seeking agreement of Full Council
until such time as mitigations are agreed between this Council, Surrey County Council, and the Mayor of London.
This Council asks officers to bring forward proposals at the earliest opportunity to Full Council to mitigate the impact of the imminent ULEZ expansion on local residents and businesses, including:
- ensuring that in the Elmbridge car parking strategy 2022-2030, 1 pilot includes a free short stay of 30 minutes or more to establish the benefits this offers to the high street and local businesses through more local shopping, thereby reducing the need to travel into the ULEZ zone; and
- other measure which officers consider may mitigate the impact of ULEZ on residents
Proposer: John Cope | Seconder: Andrew Burley
Statement 7 February 2023
Elmbridge Borough Council continues to state its opposition to the expansion of the ULEZ without meaningful engagement with both ourselves and Surrey County Council (as our public transport provider).
- Yes, we are committed to improving air quality in Elmbridge.
- Yes, we are taking action as detailed in our Air Quality Action Plan which aims to reduce damaging emissions in the borough.
- Yes, we will continue to represent our residents and businesses who will be disproportionately impacted by the ULEZ £12.50 daily charge, and potential large fines for non-compliant vehicles.
- Yes, we will continue to lobby for and support the expansion of zone 6 beyond Hampton Court and Thames Ditton to include stations such as Esher, Walton, Hersham, Hinchley Wood, Cobham, Oxshott, Claygate, Weybridge and others.
- Yes, we want the scrappage scheme extended into Elmbridge.
But as a Council committed to a thriving and sustainable community, we cannot support the ULEZ expansion in its current form.
In December 2022, we continued to address our opposition to the Mayor of London and have recently received a response from Shirley Rodrigues, Deputy Mayor for Environment and Energy.
Ms Rodrigues states that Transport for London (TFL) are open to discussing extending zone 6:
“The council resolution raised the issue of extending zone 6 into parts of your district. TfL are constantly reviewing and developing transport provision and are open to discussions with Surrey County Council and Elmbridge borough Council in order to discuss potential holistic transport strategies.”
On the matter of access to NHS services, exemptions and discounts, Ms Rodrigues writes:
“I am happy to be able to inform you that not only have the existing grace periods been retained they have been extended until October 2027. The Mayor also extended the scheme to create two new grace periods for Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles and for recipients of the standard rate mobility component of Personal Independence Payment (PIP) and certain other specific state benefits, these will also run until 2027. It is not necessary to be a resident of (Greater London) to benefit from these schemes.
“I can confirm that we have retained the arrangements to ensure that NHS patients with an impaired immune system who need to go to essential medical appointments can be reimbursed if they have had to pay the ULEZ charge during their journey. The reimbursement applies to the person who paid the ULEZ charge for the vehicle who transported the patient to the hospital, who may be a friend, relative or carer rather than the patient themselves. The reimbursement is administered by the NHS trusts directly. Again, it is not necessary to be a resident of the GLA area to benefit from this scheme.”
We continue to lobby for improvements to public transport in Elmbridge. The letter from Ms Rodrigues states:
“We would welcome any information on improvements that would help your residents either as consultations are brought forward or through TfL's regular contacts with your district.”
Ms Rodrigues also confirms in her letter that the scrappage scheme will not be extended to Elmbridge.
While we thank the Deputy Mayor for her response, it does not go far enough to meet the concerns of our residents. The right thing for the Mayor of London to do is to pause while we meet to discuss how those concerns might better be met. We are pleased that TfL and Surrey County Council have agreed to meet with our officers this month.
Our resolve has not weakened in ensuring our residents and businesses are treated fairly as part of the ULEZ extensions plans. We will keep you updated at every step of the way.
Cllr Chris Sadler, Leader, Elmbridge Borough Council
Cllr Bruce McDonald, Deputy Leader, Elmbridge Borough Council
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