Disability campaigners and the Council are asking Transport for London to consider how disabled people may be affected by new rules banning older cars.
The Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ), designed to cut emissions from older, more polluting vehicles is due to be extended to Kensington and Chelsea in October 2021. The Council backs the scheme and has already upgraded its own waste collection fleet to make sure its own vehicles are cleaner and greener before the new rules come into force.
However the Council’s Mobility Forum and Action Disability Kensington and Chelsea are concerned that the new rules will have a negative impact on disabled passengers, who have fewer active travel or public transport options available to them.
Cllr Johnny Thalassites is supporting disability groups in their appeal to ask Transport of London to consider an exemption to the ULEZ for disabled people. He has written to the Mayor of London to raise the issue.
Lead member for planning, place and environment, Cllr Johnny Thalassites, said:
“ULEZ will improve air quality on our most polluted streets but TfL needs to make sure disabled people aren’t left isolated.
“Some people rely on lifts from family and friends outside the expanded ULEZ area and those people may be less likely to own a compliant vehicle. Residents are worried about incurring big daily charges or that friends will stop offering to drive them to appointments.
“An exemption would be a relatively small air quality impact but a massive relief to those it would apply to.”
The Council is supporting residents to switch to less polluting vehicles with one of the best examples of electric charging infrastructure in the country. In Kensington and Chelsea, 87% of residents live within 200m of an EV charging point and this is expected to reach 100% by April 2021.
Disabled residents of Kensington and Chelsea can apply for a purple badge which enables eligible residents to park in any residents’ parking bay or pay-by-phone visitor parking bay without time limit in the borough.
The existing central London ULEZ will expand to create a single larger zone from the North to South circular roads. It is due to be introduced from 25 October 2021 and will operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, with a £12.50 daily charge for vehicles that drive within the zone and which do not meet the required emissions standards.