A COUPLE have been left furious after having to pay £12.50 every time they turn left out their driveway due to London’s new emission zone.
George and Vera Dowler will be hit with charges every time they drive their older cars past the traffic lights near their home, which sits on the border of the low emission zone in London.
The family say they have spent nearly £40,000 on new vehicles since last month ULEZ’s expansion and wife Vera has had to park her non-compliant car at her work’s garage.
The couple, who have lived in Eltham, South East London for 32 years, found themselves right on the edge of the low emission boundary when rules changed.
While their house is inside the zone, turning left past the traffic lights and towards the nearby roundabout would land them a charge.
Speaking to MyLondon, George said: “[Sadiq Khan] has cost me nearly £40,000 in motors. I’ve had to buy a car and pay £7,000 for a new van, which is no better than the one we’ve got.
“I’ve got a perfectly good van that can do 5,000 miles a year, yet a van that meets these emissions can do 100,000 miles more. Who’s polluting the air more, me or him?”
Wife Vera calls the situation “disgusting” and says she now leaves her older car around the corner where she works in admin.
It means she can avoid the cameras on top of the traffic lights, which they say catch older vehicles right outside their home.
“What about the new F1 racing?” Vera said, referring to the recent plans to build a new Formula One race track.
George added: “It’s all about money. [If] people are prepared to still use their old vehicles, the air would be exactly the same, so it’s all about money.
“What is the difference between the air here and the air the other side of the traffic lights?
“Also, I’ve been brought up around lorries and fumes, like thousands of other people. I’m 72 years of age, still fit as a fiddle. Surely it’s not the air, I just don’t get it all.”
London’s Ultra Low Emissions Zone came into force last month in an attempt to fight the capital’s pollution levels.
The expanded ULEZ covers all of the area within the North and South circulars, and runs 24 hours a day.
A spokesperson for the Mayor of London said: “We know toxic air pollution in London leads to 4,000 premature deaths a year, stunts the growth of children’s lungs and worsens chronic illnesses, such as asthma.
“The bold action taken by Sadiq since he became Mayor has already led to a 94 per cent reduction in the number of Londoners living in areas that exceed the legal limit for nitrogen dioxide (NO2) levels and the gap between the most and least deprived areas for exposure to nitrogen dioxide has narrowed by up to 50 per cent.
“Eighty seven per cent of cars seen travelling in the expanded zone already meet the standards and to help more Londoners switch to cleaner vehicles, Sadiq has invested £61 million in scrappage schemes, which have helped replace or retrofit more than 12,000 vehicles since 2019.”