The Builders Merchants Federation (BMF) continues to call for a 12-month delay to the ULEZ expansion, which is set to be introduced at the end of next month.
The expansion of the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) throughout London has been ruled lawful by His Majesty’s High Court, following a challenge brought forward by the boroughs of Bexley, Harrow and Willingdon, and Surrey County Council.
The ULEZ is now set be expanded on 29 August 2023 to cover all 32 London boroughs, bringing approximately five million additional people into the zone.
John Newcomb, CEO of the BMF – a trade body representing merchants and suppliers in the UK and Ireland – says he is “disappointed” by the decision, which he says is “bad news for London’s building industry.” The trade body been calling for a 12-month delay, which it says would help to facilitate an increased transition period for those businesses reliant on motor vehicles that would affected by the ULEZ expansion.
The expansion could see a potential multi-level knock on effect across sectors, including the increase in trade service prices to cover the additional costs incurred from traveling through the ULEZ or the replacement of older vehicles impacted by the £12.50 charge.
Newcomb says: “We will continue to press for changes to the scheme to protect jobs and the local economy. In particular, we are campaigning for a targeted commercial vehicle scrappage scheme, and a 12-month delay before the expanded scheme goes live.
“BMF members recognise the importance of air quality and as responsible employers our members take a number of steps to ensure fuel efficiency and the health and wellbeing of staff.
“However, we firmly believe that a 12-month delay to the start of the ULEZ expansion will allow businesses and individuals to prepare – especially in relation to the availability of compliant vehicles.”