London councils have been accused of “attacking working class people” after introducing new ULEZ-like parking charges for residents’ vehicles based on their cars’ emissions.
Lambeth Council introduced the policy in May, despite furious residents dubbing it “scandalous” and “greedy” in a consultation with over 100 pages of responses, while Greenwich rolled it out in July.
With ULEZ already provoking a backlash, a south London MP has slammed the schemes and called for them to be scrapped.
Louie French, Conservative MP for Bexley, said: “Labour wants to charge you more for owning a car, even when you’re not driving it. Targeting people who are more likely to own older cars because they are retired or on lower incomes is regressive and wrong.
“It is also highly questionable how a parked car can generate emissions. This is yet another attack by Labour on working class people in London.”
Asked for comment, Lambeth Council directed City A.M. to its original press release announcing the policy.
According to the release, deputy leader of Lambeth council Rezina Chowdhury said: “This new emissions-based pricing structure will ensure Lambeth can continue to tackle toxic air and make our shared spaces fairer and more accessible.”
Greenwich Council was approached for comment.
The criticism comes just days ahead of Mayor Sadiq Khan’s expansion of the controversial ultra low emissions zone (ULEZ) scheme, which will be rolled out on 29 August.
It has been met with fierce opposition in some London boroughs, and the policy deemed by some to be responsible for Labour’s failure to win the recent Uxbridge by-election.
Earlier this week it was reported that the Conservative government considered over-ruling Khan’s scheme.
Ministers were reportedly looking into an obscure legal route to obstruct the mayor’s plans to expand the ultra low emission zone (ULEZ) throughout the capital but were told it would fall down in court.