London Mayor Sadiq Khan’s much-hated ULEZ scheme is splitting communities in two and costing struggling families thousands of pounds.
Hard-up Londoners have told MailOnline they have already had to shell out huge sums to buy new cars that comply with the money-spinning Ultra Low Emission Zone, and they fear they are being priced out of the capital.
In some areas of the city, the ULEZ will force parents who can’t afford to buy new motors to pay the £12.50 charge to drive their children to school. While pensioners fear being left stranded and unable to see their GP located inside the penalty zone.
Farcically, neighbours living just yards apart on opposite sides of the clean air zone face starkly different fates, with some saying they will be slapped with a charge for simply leaving their homes, while those living a stone’s throwaway are unaffected.
The revelation comes ahead Mr Khan expanding the clean air zone to Greater London this year, encompassing five million more people – in a move that will create a headache for at least 200,000 people who own non-compliant vehicles.
Hard-up Londoners have told MailOnline they’ve already had to shell out huge sums to buy new cars that comply with the money-spinning Ultra Low Emission Zone and are now being priced out of the capital. Pictured is Knockholt Road, Greenwich
The ULEZ scheme aims to help the environment and clean the air above the capital. However, residents facing the fallout of the eco-scheme are not convinced. Pictured is the dividing line in Greenwich, with one side of the community in the ULEZ and the other outside it
London’s ULEZ divide: Lionel Road in Greenwich is just outside the ULEZ. But neighbours living opposite in Lionel Road fall into the clean air zone – with some saying they now face daily penalties for leaving in non-compliant vehicles
It’s a struggle that those living in Knockholt Road, Greenwich, know all too well. It has been made into a ULEZ area, while Lionel Road just opposite has escaped that fate.
Lenny Dunn lives at the end of the ULEZ road, on the border of where it starts and ends. From his front door he can look over at Lionel Road opposite, where the same restrictions are not in place.
Like many in the area he was forced to sell his van, making it harder for him to work. The 51-year-old gardener said: ‘It’s a joke. I had to sell my van as I couldn’t keep paying the fee everyday.
‘My van was an ’05 plate meaning I had to pay £17.50 a day, which is even more than most people. I couldn’t go out and work as much as I’d like because it would cost to leave my driveway.
‘I can’t even make the simple trip to McDonalds down the road without having to pay.’
Mr Dunn has lived on the road for decades and is furious at the change. He said: ‘I’ve been here about 20 years and then one day they brought the cameras in. There is now a lot of things to consider when just leaving the house.’
The ULEZ scheme aims to help the environment and clean the air above the capital. However, residents facing the fallout of the eco-scheme are not convinced.
‘It’s all a revenue thing. It’s another tax I have to pay and I’m not seeing much done with the money,’ raged Mr Dunn.
Fed up: Gardiner Lenny Dunn, 51, lives at one end of a ULEZ road in Greenwich and has been forced to sell off his van. He says the scheme caused his earnings to plummet as he could leave his house in his old vehicle without being hit with a daily £17.50 charge
Knockholt Road, Greenwich (pictured) has been made into a ULEZ area, while Lionel Road just opposite has escaped that fate. It’s left residents in Knockholt furious, with some having to spend thousands of pounds on new ULEZ-compliant cars
In some areas of the city, the ULEZ is forcing parents who can’t afford to buy new cars to pay the £12.50 charge to drive their children to school. While pensioners have been left stranded and unable to see their GPs inside the penalty zone. Pictured is Rosendale Road, West Dulwich
‘What I want to know is what are they doing with the money? They’re not using it to help us. It is a nightmare.’
Anne-Marie Roberts also lives along Knockholt Road and shares Mr Dunn’s concerns. She said: ‘It’s a big money making scheme and it doesn’t work.’
While the scheme aims to slash pollution, some residents believe it is doing the opposite – with traffic now clogging streets elsewhere in the capital.
Ms Roberts said: ‘They say it’s for health reasons but I don’t think that’s true.
‘It’s now chock-a-block along the main road because people can’t drive through here without paying.
‘So the traffic is so bad and the pollution is awful because it’s not being shared around the whole area. We are stuck with the worst of it.
‘When it’s busy you can taste the pollution. My mum only lives two roads away but the difference is huge.
Anne-Marie Roberts also lives along Knockholt Road and shares Mr Dunn’s concerns. She said: ‘It’s a big money making scheme and it doesn’t work.’ Pictured is Knockholt Road
The ultra-low emission zone is to be expanded in August to cover the whole of Greater London – seen here in purple
London Mayor Sadiq Khan announced the ULEZ scheme would be rolled out across Greater London later this year – which could see 200,000 people with non-compliant vehicles hit
‘When she is at home her oxygen levels will be 97 per cent but when she’s at mine during rush hour it goes down to 92-93 per cent.’
The 49-year-old carer was lucky that her car complied with the standards but she has still faced extra costs.
She added: ‘If we have a hairdresser come to the house now she charges us the fee so it’s more expensive.’
And she says friends living outside the ULEZ are still left to suffer.
‘We have friends who haven’t been able to go to the GP on the other side as to get there they have to go through the zone,’ she added.
‘If they get offered an appointment at Kidbrooke Village they have to say no and wait until one comes available at the other GP because they can’t drive there without paying.’
June Holden lives in Bexley but often visits Knockholt Road. She worries for the businesses that are affected by the scheme.
The 67-year-old said: ‘I don’t think it’s right. It’s the businesses that have it the worst, it’s not fair that they have to pay to go to work and that they lose customers because they don’t want to pay.
June Holden, 67, lives in Bexley but often visits Knockholt Road. she now fears for the future of businesses nearby affected by the ULEZ
Knockholt Road is inside the boundary of the ULEZ, with residents saying there have been left frustrated by the split
Although not all the people MailOnline spoke to were against the proposals. Some welcomed the ULEZ and said it was helping to drive down pollution
‘It doesn’t affect the rich people, it affects the working class people who might not be able to buy a new car or pay the charges every day.
‘You’re paying to come home, it’s very unfair.’
However, for some locals, the lack of cars along Knockholt Road is a good thing, as the road is now quieter and less busy.
Kay Chivers lives a few roads down in the ULEZ and welcomes the quiet. The 51-year-old carer said: ‘It is very quiet along the roads which I guess is a good thing.’
Not a driver herself, she hasn’t been as affected as others but does understand the frustration.
She added: ‘It is OK for me as I don’t drive but I have a friend who had to sell one of her cars which was very inconvenient.’
Even though the road opposite isn’t a ULEZ area, the locals living along Lionel Road have also faced problems.
Hamda Glaied is retired and lives along the street. When the ULEZ scheme was put in place he also had no choice but to sell his car and buy a new one.
The 72-year-old said: ‘I had to sell my car and get a new one. I couldn’t be paying every day I went to the other road.
Pensioner Hamda Glaied, 72, is retired and lives along Lionel Road and said he had no choice but to sell his old car and buy a new one
Kay Chivers lives a few roads down in the ULEZ and welcomes the quiet. The 51-year-old carer said: ‘It is very quiet along the roads which I guess is a good thing.’
The ULEZ divide in action: One the right is Knockholt Road which is inside the ULEZ and Lionel road on the left falls outside the zone, while the main road splitting the two streets s is the A205
‘I did lose a bit of money but I think I am making money because I don’t have to pay every day.
‘I’m not going to pay that money – to pay everyday it’s too much.’
Mr Glaied is frustrated that the car owners have been left to pay the fee rather than the car companies.
He said: ‘The car factories should be paying for this, not us. They tell us the sales are down and at the same time they want you to buy their cars.
‘They do need to work on clean energy but the people can’t be paying for it all.’
Pat Finnegan also lives along Lionel Road and worries for his son’s business.
The 77-year-old said: ‘It’s mucked up a lot of things. My son has car businesses in Woolwich. He has MoT stations and garages so he has lost customers because the diesel cars won’t come because it costs them.
‘He is thinking about moving the business now somewhere else after being there for around 20 years.
Pat Finnegan lives along Lionel Road and worries for his son’s business. The 77-year-old says it has ‘mucked’ a lot of things up
Pictured: Knockholt Road, SE9 inside the ULEZ (right) and Lionel road background (outside ULEZ ) left main road splitting the roads is the A205
Residents living in Lionel Road said the street has now become a parking hot spot, with more drivers clogging up the neighbourhood with their vehicles
‘It isn’t the only reason he’s moving but I think it’s part of it. We all agree that we need to do something for the environment but they take it took far.’
With Knockholt Road becoming less accessible, people have less places to park when coming to the area.
As a result, Lionel Road has become a parking hot spot. Alfie Weeks lives on the road and has noticed a rise in parking.
The 22-year-old bar manager said: ‘We get way more people parking now – people are fighting for spots.
‘With the school here as well it can get so busy.’
In Redbridge, in north east London, more unlucky locals have been struck with the ULEZ scheme.
The busy North Circular road splits Mulberry Way and Latchett Road. While Latchett Road has escaped the scheme for now, Mulberry Way has become a ULEZ area.
Steve Rothon lives along Mulberry Way and had to pay £6,000 to change his car to fit the regulations.
The 73-year-old said: ‘I had to sell my car which was a pain. It now is more expensive because my diesel car used to do around 58 to the gallon and now with the petrol equivalent, because I got the same model, I’m lucky to get 35 to 40.
Steve Rothon lives along Mulberry Way and had to pay £6,000 to change his car to fit the regulations. He said his new motor is now even more expensive to run
The ULEZ has cut Redbridge in two, forcing some residents to pay thousands to replace their cars that don’t fit with the clean air zone rules, with others living in streets opposite, outside the ULEZ, have been spared such a fate
In Redbridge, in north east London, more unlucky locals have been struck with the ULEZ scheme. The busy North Circular road splits Mulberry Way and Latchett Road, with Mulberry (pictured) falling into the zone
Yet another divide: Rosendale Road, West Dulwich, South London (left) is outside ULEZ but the opposite side falls within the clean air zone (pictured to the right)
‘With the fuel price rising as well my costs are going up and up. But if I didn’t I would have had to pay every time I moved the car.’
While his road is affected by the zone, he is sure that people the other side are also struggling.
He added: ‘Everything is on this side. You don’t have a choice but to come to this side.
‘All the supermarkets and all the restaurants are on this side so people over the other side will still be having to pay to get here.’
For Mr Rothon, it is a good idea but he feels there isn’t enough infrastructure in place to make the change easy for people.
He said: ‘It would be good to go all electric or hybrid but they need the infrastructure for it.
Over the other side of the North Circular is Latchett Road, a non-ULEZ area. David Higgins lives along the road and is lucky to have compliant cars and isn’t concerned about the road becoming a ULEZ area in the future.
Thee 68-year-old said: ‘I see for some people it being a problem but for me I’m ok. My car is compliant and was beforehand so it isn’t bad for me now.’
Jill and Brian Williams are also not concerned. Ms Williams said: ‘It’s fine for us, our cars are fine but I can see why people would be unhappy having to pay all that money and if they have to get a new car.
The Williams family is not concerned about the ULEZ. Pictured, left to right: Karen, Jill and Brian Williams in Latchett Road which is outside the clean air zone
Terry Finlay’s mum lives along the road in the ULEZ area. The 43-year-old from Epping has a car compliant with the emissions standard so is not affected too greatly by the scheme. However, he has noticed that it has affected visitors coming to his mum’s. He said: ‘My mum is OK with it but people sometimes don’t want to visit because they don’t want to pay the money to come.’
‘I get the bus now a lot as it’s easier.’
Her husband, 78, added: ‘The issue is less with the ULEZ and more with the noise and pollution of the North Circular.
‘It used to be a quiet narrow road now you can hear it from here.’
In Dulwich, south London, Rosendale Road has been split by the ULEZ. Louie Asghar, lives in the ULEZ side and has changed his car but now mainly relies on cycling now to save money and time.
The 22-year-old pub manager has noticed a rise in traffic as the ULEZ has moved more vehicles onto the main road.
He said: ‘It has definitely clogged up more. People are going out of the city through the main roads much more now because of them.
‘I’m not particularly for it because I don’t know if London necessarily is the best to deal with the direction the traffic is going – it’s not flowing and it makes things a lot more difficult.
‘I get it in the centre of the city, but don’t see why they need it here.’
In Dulwich, south London, Rosendale Road has been split by the ULEZ. Louie Asghar (pictured), lives in the ULEZ side and has changed his car but now mainly relies on cycling now to save money and time
But residents claim there has been an increase on main streets across the capital. Pictured is Rosendale Road which is inside the ULEZ, in West Dulwich
In some areas of the city, the ULEZ is forcing parents who can’t afford to buy new motors to pay the £12.50 charge to drive their children to school. Pictured is one of the ULEZ cameras in Rosendale Road, West Dulwich
He added: ‘It is putting me off living in London.
‘I don’t like how everything is so controlled and restricted and you can get fines everywhere without even knowing because it can be so confusing.
‘They must be making an earner off it.’
However, not everyone living in the ULEZ road is against the scheme, with locals welcoming it.
One resident, who did not want to be named, said: ‘I think it is a necessity as people are dying from pollution, that is a very real thing.
He added: ‘At the end of the day you need to take your kids to school or go to the doctor and you’re not thinking about the pollution driving can cause.’
While overall those living on the ULEZ free side have had little issues, it has still had some effect on their day to day lives.
Lily Haze, 25, lives in Dulwich. She said: ‘My boyfriend has an old van that he now has to park at his parents’ house because he can’t really drive it around here because of the ULEZ.
Lily Haze, pictured, lives on the boundary of the Ulez in Dulwich, south London, and said her boyfriend now has to park his van at his parents’ house because he can’t drive it through the capital anymore
The ULEZ divide is pictured in Dulwich, South London as it sweeps across the city, splitting communities in two
Pictured: Rosendale Road, West Dulwich, South London which is partially in the ULEZ and partially out of it
‘Even though we are the other side of the road he still has to drive that way and if he does he has to pay.’
But the graphic designer still views the scheme positively. She said: ‘It’s a good idea as I definitely notice a lot of pollution down the main road so it is good things are in place to try make it better.’
Jennifer, 40, is a housewife who also lives in the ULEZ free part of the street. She has been lucky to have a car that is compliant so has not had any issues.
However, she is aware at the difficulties the scheme can bring.
She said: ‘I am fine because my car is compliant already but if yours wasn’t sometimes walking or public transport isn’t an option and neither is paying the money.
‘For many people schools aren’t walking distance so you have no choice to drive.
‘For me I walk when I can but I have three kids who are at three different schools so to get them all there walking would be difficult, I have to drive.’
She added: ‘It is maybe people with the older cars that can’t then afford to get new ones so they have no choice and I think it must be very hard.’
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