ULEZ is not about better air quality but about making money - GP Taylor

There is no mistake, ULEZ is more about wealth than health and if Labour has their way, it will be coming to a town near you. In fact, it already has. The Bradford clean air zone is ULEZ by another name, something that I believe will be expanded to every town and city in Yorkshire.

It is the harbinger of a pay per mile road pricing system, that, even though denied by Labour, is currently being worked on by Sadiq Khan.

According to a recent investigation by The Mail on Sunday, London Mayor Sadiq Khan has called for an army of experts to build a 'sophisticated' new pricing system for the capital's roads using the cameras installed for his hated ULEZ scheme.

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It would mean drivers could incur charges based on the length of the trip taken, the congestion levels on the roads and the levels of pollution emitted. It is a cash cow that a money strapped Labour government would soon roll out nationally to the detriment of the working class.

An anti Ulez sticker on a vehicle on Warwick Avenue, London. PIC: Jonathan Brady/PA WireAn anti Ulez sticker on a vehicle on Warwick Avenue, London. PIC: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire
An anti Ulez sticker on a vehicle on Warwick Avenue, London. PIC: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

Imagine someone living in Swaledale wanting to go for their weekly shop would have to pay a vast amount on top of the price of food, road tax, and petrol duty. Make no mistake, ULEZ and Pay-Per-Mile is the start of a Labour war on motorists for the sake of hitting ridiculous net-zero targets, a virtue signal to the rest of the world, who are laughing in our faces.

We in Yorkshire will suffer climate tyranny, whilst China, India and others continue to pollute the environment.

However, let’s be clear, ULEZ is not about better air quality, it is about filling the black hole in Sadiq Khan’s budget and the pursuit of Agenda 2030 and a carless society. Yorkshire is a rural county where public transport is abysmal and, in some places non-existent. Motor vehicles are a necessity and not a luxury. A farmer cannot take their sheep to market on a bus. Any form of road pricing in Yorkshire would destroy our economy and our tourist industry. Who would want to drive to the seaside and pay 20p per mile or £50 a day for a lorry to drive through Bradford?

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Already, just a week after ULEZ was introduced, the people of Greater London are totally sick of it. Members of the public are pulling down the cameras and painting over them in protest. Thomas Jefferson was right when he said: “When tyranny becomes law, rebellion becomes duty.” I agree.

The so-called ‘Blade Runners’ who are killing cameras, appear to have the backing of former Tory leader Ian Duncan-Smith. He recently said: “A lot of people in my constituency have been cementing up the cameras or putting plastic bags over them. I am happy for them to do it because they are facing an imposition that no-one wants and they have been lied to about it. The actions you are seeing show how angry people are, at what is being imposed on them. Sadiq Khan has gerrymandered all the information – people have had enough.”

Duncan-Smith is right. ULEZ is deeply unpopular, as London residents feel the true cost of the climate poll tax. The science behind it is also deeply suspect.

The adage that 97 per cent of scientist are in full agreement - with those who pay them, rings true. Accusations of collusion have been made and even the solitary scientist who reviewed the data belongs to an organisation that got funding from Khan.

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The Environmental Research Group was awarded £891,992 between 2021 and 2023, to give Sadiq Khan and Transport for London the narrative to sting the public £400m a year.

Khan praised the study as a “landmark report” and used it to support the expansion of the scheme to cover all 32 boroughs in London. “ULEZ works. This is beyond dispute,” Khan said at the time, even though UK Research & Innovation insisted "peer reviewers must be impartial and avoid financial conflicts of interest". Clearly not when it comes to ULEZ.

I believe that ULEZ is nothing more than a cynical money grabbing scam. If cars are climate change monsters as Khan says, why doesn’t he just ban them? Does paying £12.50 per day miraculously stop the vehicle polluting the air? No, it just charges the average road user an extra £4,500 a year. I believe it will also be expanded to cars currently exempt.

White-Van-Man and School-Run-Mum will both feel Khan’s financial squeeze. Mark my words, when Labour sees the wads of cash rolling in, ULEZ will be coming to a street near you. Whether you are in Seacroft or Scarborough, road pricing will happen under Labour. They will not mention it in their manifesto but will enforce it upon us once elected. I bet that politicians and other members of the elite will be exempt as they price us proles out of our cars.

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If this happens, I will join the queue of citizen soldiers at my local DIY shop to buy a pair of long handled wire cutters. No more cameras, no more climate control, no more ULEZ.

GP Taylor is a writer and broadcaster who lives in Yorkshire.