Despite survey data from The Eco Experts revealing 73% of Brits think we are in a climate emergency, Transport for London’s (TfL) ultra-low emissions zone (ULEZ) initiative remains unpopular. This lack of interest highlights the UK public’s unwillingness to support lower emission policies, which could be fuelled by the current cost of living crisis.
TfL rolled out its expansion of the London ULEZ earlier this week. The zone now covers the majority of Greater London, including Heathrow Airport amid criticism.
Anyone driving within the zone with a vehicle that does not comply will now have to pay £12.50 per day.
The plan has been criticised from the start, with several councils attempting to block the plans back in February. These five councils were overruled by the high court and their legal challenge was dismissed at the end of July.
In Greater London, there have been protests with the destruction of ULEZ technology to prevent the monitoring of vehicles, despite the fact that 92% of the cars registered in the area are ULEZ compliant.
With 76% of Brits not happy with government support during the energy crisis, the government and local councils will need to support residents further when making essential emission reduction policies to prevent backlash.
The cost of electric vehicles can deter UK drivers from making low-emission purchases. If the government wants to entice Brits towards sustainable transport, they must consider the financial impact of making these decisions amid a national cost of living crisis.
The UK is currently lagging behind in its goal of a 68% reduction in emissions by 2023, compared to 1990 levels. Without essential measures, the UK government won’t achieve this target.
The Editor of The Eco Experts, Charlie Clissitt, comments:
“It would obviously be a mistake to dismiss people’s anger at the expansion of ULEZ as unreasonable. This change has imposed a new cost on a lot of Londoners, which is particularly difficult to reconcile with the current economic climate. Unfortunately, the UK’s route to Net Zero will involve a series of painful decisions, but they’re all necessary if the UK is serious about leading the charge against climate change”