Business leaders back City Hall Tories’ scrappage fund
London-wide Assembly Member Susan Hall and the Federation of Small Businesses have today written to the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, urging him to adopt the GLA Conservatives’ plan to invest £50 million in Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) scrappage schemes.
Last month, Susan Hall AM unveiled a plan to help Londoners, small businesses, and charities switch to cleaner vehicles ahead of the ULEZ expansion in October 2021.
Using £50 million from City Hall’s Business Rate Reserve, the plan would reopen Transport for London’s (TfL) two suspended scrappage schemes for non-ULEZ compliant vans, minibuses, and heavy vehicles. These schemes have been closed since last summer after high demand exhausted the Mayor’s funding.
Depending on applications, the new funding could help small businesses, sole traders and charities scrap more than 7,000 vans, minibuses, and heavy good vehicles. This would support London’s recovery by helping these groups avoid the ULEZ charge and tackle air pollution by removing polluting vehicles from London’s roads.
The new funding could also be used to bolster the third TfL scheme which offers scrappage grants to Londoners on certain benefits with non-ULEZ compliant cars and motorcycles. Whilst this scheme is still open, it also faces unprecedented demand and City Hall Tories’ fear the Mayor’s recent £5 million investment is insufficient.
Today the Federation of Small Businesses have expressed their support for the GLA Conservatives’ proposal to fund ULEZ scrappage schemes.
In their letter to the Mayor of London they say: “We sincerely hope that you consider this proposal which would nearly double TfL's support for Londoners ahead of the ULEZ expansion in less than four months’ time.”
Susan Hall AM, Leader of the GLA Conservatives, commented: "Few Londoners and businesses have been able to prepare for Sadiq Khan’s ULEZ expansion due to the pandemic. That’s why the Mayor needs to put extra support in place to help them switch to cleaner vehicles and avoid the charge. “Our plan would offer £50 million in new grants to help those who can’t afford the Mayor’s ULEZ bill or to buy a new vehicle. That’s enough cash to help scrap over 7,000 non-ULEZ compliant vans, minibuses, and heavy vehicles to tackle air pollution.
“If the Mayor is serious about helping London’s recovery, he urgently needs to consider our plan. Unless he reopens TfL’s suspended scrappage schemes, struggling Londoners, small businesses and charities will be left with no lifeline.”
Michael Lloyd, Federation of Small Businesses London Infrastructure Chair, commented: “Small businesses have been faced with an unprecedented set of financial and emotional challenges in the last 15 months. Small businesses want to do the right thing by the environment and help improve the air quality, however, we must be understanding that in these current times many simply cannot afford to replace their business vehicles.
"FSB is working with all political parties to urge for the reintroduction of Transport for London’s scrappage scheme for vans and minibuses that was extremely popular over two years ago and provided a ‘welcome carrot’ to firms. Now, with small firms facing hard choices and around three months to go until the ULEZ is extended to the North and South Circular, we support urgent measures to reintroduce and further resource the scheme.”