ULEZ decision is “bad news” for London’s building industry, says BMF

Credit: AdobeStock/tktktk
Credit: AdobeStock/tktktk

The Builders Merchants Federation (BMF) has expressed its bitter disappointment at the High Court ruling in support of the expansion of London’s controversial ultra-low emission zone (ULEZ), describing it as bad news for SME builders and those supplying their materials in the outer London boroughs.

The High Court ruled against the challenge brought by the boroughs of Bexley, Bromley, Harrow and Hillingdon, and Surrey County Council by finding that the Mayor of London’s planned expansion of ULEZ is lawful, thus paving the way for restrictions on emissions to encompass outer London boroughs on 29 August 2023.

John Newcomb, CEO of the BMF, has been calling for a 12-month delay to the Greater London ULEZ scheme to help businesses in the building materials supply industry reliant on lorries and vans, as well as their SME builder customers, prepare for the change.

The trade body has twice written to the Mayor of London, expressing concern that neighbourhoods in the expanded ULEZ could become no-go areas for the building trade and has called for a targeted commercial vehicle scrappage scheme.

John said: “We are disappointed by the High Court’s decision, which is bad news for London’s building industry. We will continue to press for changes to the scheme to protect jobs and the local economy. In particular, we are campaigning for a targeted commercial vehicle scrappage scheme, and a 12-month delay before the expanded scheme goes live.

“BMF members recognise the importance of air quality and as responsible employers our members take a number of steps to ensure fuel efficiency and the health and wellbeing of staff. However, we firmly believe that a 12-month delay to the start of the ULEZ expansion will allow businesses and individuals to prepare – especially in relation to the availability of compliant vehicles.”

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