Ulez scheme adds just 13 minutes to the life expectancy of Londoners

Sadiq Khan’s controversial Ulez scheme will add just 13 minutes to the life expectancy of Londoners as his own office finds latest expansion will have ‘negligible’ effects on air pollution

Sadiq Khan’s controversial Ulez scheme will add just 13 minutes to the life expectancy of Londoners, new analysis has found.

Channel 4 News FactCheck calculated the figure after studying data published by the office of Mayor of London Sadiq Khan. 

Meanwhile, research from the Mayor’s his own office has found the latest expansion will have ‘minor’ and ‘negligible’ effects on air pollution. 

The controversial scheme was expanded on August 29 to cover the whole of Greater London. Motorists with cars that don’t meet the scheme’s standards – mainly those on low incomes – will be forced to pay £12.50-a-day to drive in the zone, or face a fine.

Its rollout has sparked furious protests and the rise of the ‘Ulez blade runners’, a covert group who attack enforcement cameras that catch out drivers using high-polluting vehicles across the capital. 

Sadiq Khan ‘s controversial Ulez scheme will add just 13 minutes to the life expectancy of Londoners as his own office finds latest expansion will have ‘minor’ and ‘negligible’ effects on air pollution

Channel 4 News FactCheck said: ‘TfL (Transport for London) and the mayor’s office stress that the absolute change in emissions is still greater in the outer London expansion compared to previous Ulez phases.

‘Though the benefits are spread across a larger population, too.

‘Using the mayor’s own data, we estimate that the outer London Ulez would add 13 minutes to the average Londoner’s life in 2023.’

READ MORE: ULEZ protesters scuffle with police as tension boils over on first day of expansion of Sadiq Khan’s hated £12.50 daily levy

In response, a spokeswoman for the mayor said: ‘The science is clear – the impact of the Ulez expansion will be transformative.

‘It will mean five million Londoners breathing cleaner air, and reduce toxic NOx (nitric oxide), CO2 (carbon dioxide), (particulate) emissions from vehicles.

‘It is the largest clean air zone in the world.’

Meanwhile, the Mayor’s own research shows the minimal impact the deeply unpopular expansion of the road charge is set to have on the capital’s residents.

Mr Khan has been accused of not listening to hard-up motorists’ concerns as anti-ULEZ protests roar on against the scheme which is set to bring an extra £2.5 million a day to City Hall and raise billions in the coming years.

On the day the expansion was introduced protestors gathered outside Downing Street to voice their discontent, , with shocking footage emerging of scuffles between protesters who can’t afford to pay the charges and the police.

There is no avoiding the daily ULEZ charge if you live in London as it stretches as far out as Zone 6, to areas such as Orpington, Haynes, Hornchurch and Romford.

Anti-ULEZ protest outside Down Street on the day the controversial charges were introduced

ULEZ cameras stolen from traffic lights in Eastcote, Pinner in the London Borough of Hillingdon

Anti-Ulez vigilantes have damaged hundreds of cameras including this one in Feltham, by spraying them with substances

Non-payment of ULEZ charges at the minute stand at £180 and this fee is reduced if you pay within a fortnight. 

READ MORE: The ULEZ vigilantes strike again: More spy cameras are stolen by activists as Sadiq Khan faces growing backlash over expansion of hated scheme which sees motorists charged £12.50 EVERY time they drive

Grace periods until October 25, 2027 will be given to London vehicles with registered disabled owners or passengers, alongside minibuses for community transport.

The Mayor of London has insisted he is not ‘anti-car’ for implementing the expansion which affects all 32 London boroughs. 

Motorists with diesel vehicles from 2014 or earlier, petrol vehicles from 2006 or earlier and motorcycles from 2001 or earlier will be impacted, although vehicles from 1973 or earlier are exempt.

Angry campaigners have been vandalising the specialised cameras which enforce the scheme – a quarter of which have been smashed up. 

According to a report, fake number plates could also be used to dodge charges. 

A report prepared for British ministers by Tony Porter, the former surveillance camera commissioner, revealed that 6% of cars had some sort of technology to defeat automated number plate recognition [ANPR] cameras. 

Fake number plates can be bought for as little as £10 from any of the 40,000 largely unregulated sellers while reflective ‘stealth’ tape to make plates invisible to ANPR infrared cameras can be purchased online for just £80.

And their use is expected to rise following the expansion of Ulez in London, as well as the overall growth of ANPR across the country.

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