ULEZ exemption win
We at Inclusion London welcome the Mayor of London’s announcement to expand the Ultra-Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ) to Greater London…
We at Inclusion London welcome the Mayor of London’s announcement to expand the Ultra-Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ) to Greater London, as Disabled Londoners are among those disproportionately impacted by air pollution, and we are delighted that the Mayor and TFL have taken on board our feedback about the negative financial impact the ULEZ expansion would have on Disabled Londoners and took steps to mitigate it, such as:
- Granting an exemption to all Disabled people receiving any rate of the mobility component of PIP and some other disability benefits* until 2027. This means that 280,000 more Disabled people will be able to benefit from the new ULEZ temporary exemptions.
- Introducing the scrappage scheme and giving higher amount of money for Disabled people who need wheelchair Specific Adaptations or other adaptations to their cars.
- Extending exemptions and the scrappage scheme to inner London boroughs, so every Disabled Londoner can benefit from new exemptions and enhanced funding from the scrappage scheme.
“We as Londoners all want to live in a city with clean air free from pollution. This will have a hugely positive impact on Disabled Londoners as well. We are delighted the Mayor has listened to our concern about disproportionate negative impact of ULEZ charges on Disabled people, many of whom will not be able to afford a new car or are unable to travel by public transport. There are significant improvements in the scheme when it comes to Disabled people. We welcome the exemptions and the enhanced funding for Disabled Londoners through the scrappage scheme.
We do believe that the ultimate aim should be to ensure every Disabled Londoner, who is not able to travel by public transport, has access to the ULEZ compliant car. We look forward to working with the Mayor and Transport for London to ensure we achieve this goal.
We are pleased to see that they have committed to make significant changes to the scheme following concerns raised by Disabled Londoners who are disproportionately represented in lower-income groups and often rely on cars, as public transport is not entirely accessible. We particularly support the decision to introduce new grace periods for Disabled Londoners and extend the existing grace period until 2027 for those registered under the disabled and disabled passenger tax class.
We are glad to see that our concerns regarding the issue of eligibility criteria for exemptions to the scheme being very strict have been acknowledged and that, as a result, the threshold for exemptions from the ULEZ charge has been lowered, allowing Disabled Londoners in receipt of the standard rate of the mobility component of PIP to be exempt from the charge rather than just those receiving its enhanced rate. This will mean that over 280,000 more Disabled people will be able to benefit from the new ULEZ temporary exemptions.
We are concerned that some Disabled people, who do not receive Disability benefits, will still be negatively impacted. We therefore would have also liked to see a firmer commitment from the Mayor and TFL to put in place a mechanism by which those Disabled Londoners who hold Blue Badges but are not eligible for the new grace period as they do not receive disability benefits could apply for exemption from ULEZ charges.
We welcome the decision to introduce a comprehensive scrappage scheme of £110 m and extend the scrappage funding to nominated drivers of Disabled people if they do not drive themselves.
While we appreciate the commitment to make available the enhanced scrappage amount of £5000 to all those Disabled Londoners relying on Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles (WAVs) or vehicles with specific adaptations, we believe that scrappage grant payments of £5000 would still not provide Disabled Londoners the financial support they would need to scrap or retrofit their cars as adaptations can be very expensive and cost more than £5000. We know that the average additional cost of a WAV is £30,000 and we’re concerned that a one size fits all approach to covering vehicle-specific adaptations would not benefit all Disabled Londoners. We would have liked to see instead a commitment to ringfence a proportion of the funding available through the scrappage scheme for Disabled Londoners who need vehicle-specific adaptations to ensure the cost of replacing adapted vehicles is fully covered by the scrappage scheme.
Overall, we welcome the proposed changes to the scheme as they will enable Disabled Londoners relying on non-ULEZ compliant vehicles to adapt to the ULEZ expansion and we are committed to continue working with the Mayor and TFL between now and the implementation of the policy to ensure the ULEZ expansion will be fairer to all Disabled people.”
*Eligibility includes either the standard or higher rate mobility component of Personal Independence Payment, or the higher mobility rate of Disability Living Allowance, higher mobility rate of Child Disability Payment, War Pensioners’ Mobility Supplement, Armed Forces Independence Payment, standard or enhanced rate of Adult Disability Payment.
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