Several people have questioned me on why ULEZ cameras are being installed on Kenley roads with one constituent writing in to ask:
“Previously we gathered that the council was refusing permission for the Mayor to place cameras on roads not controlled by TfL. Was this never the Council’s position or has it given in and changed its mind?!”.
I’ve responded to my constituent and thought that other people might be interested in my answer as well.
Croydon did not want to cooperate with the roll out of ULEZ cameras as Mayor Perry and his administration believe the system to be unfair on residents and businesses and won’t actually make much difference to air quality in outer London boroughs like Croydon.
In fact, the Conservative Group on Croydon Council put forward a motion for debate at the council meeting last February. Unfortunately, the Labour Group, Greens and Liberal Democrat voted against it as did the then Civic Mayor, and the Conservatives lost the vote by one.
The debate motion was:
“This Council opposes the Mayor of London’s extension of the ULEZ to the boundary of Greater London. Sadiq Khan’s plan will not only force hundreds of Croydon residents to pay £12.50 a day just to drive their car, but his own studies show it will have very little environmental impact.
For many Croydonians, their car is the only reliable option to get around given the reduced public transport options compared with inner London. Punishing those who cannot afford to buy a more modern vehicle is deeply unfair and out of touch, particularly at a time when the cost of living is increasing. This Council calls on the Mayor of London to listen to Londoners, rethink this flawed policy and instead invest in improving the public transport network in outer London to make it easier for local people to make more sustainable transport choices.”
A recording of the debate is available at https://webcasting.croydon.gov.uk/croydon/17248-Council at 2 hrs 38 minutes and 55 seconds (2:38:55) and a report at Croydon councillors back ULEZ expansion after mayor promised to block cameras - MyLondon.
Mayor Perry did not signed the Section 8 agreement for works to expand the ULEZ to Croydon – see Croydon holds on signing ULEZ agreement – Newsroom and maintains his opposition in the face of Mayor Khan’s directive.
There is an important section at section 6 ‘Reserve powers’ on page 11:
“Although it is the Mayor’s wish that TfL and Authorities act co-operatively, and it is not the Mayor’s preference they are used, it should be noted that TfL has statutory “direct installation powers” under Schedule 23 to the GLA Act 1999 that enable it as Charging Authority for the Combined Scheme to directly carry out the Works on Street Structures on Borough Roads. They give TfL a lawful authority to do so, which if necessary, TfL may do without the Authority’s consent, whether under Section 8 Agreement or otherwise. These direct installation powers are referred to in Clause 8 of the Template”.
Essentially this means that Croydon had no choice but to let the installation of cameras take place.
Although marked ‘confidential’, the guidance is publicly available the GLA website.
To reverse this, Sadiq Khan needs to lose the election next May to Susan Hall, the Conservative candidate, who has said that if she is elected on day one she will scrap Mayor Khan’s disastrous plan to expand ULEZ.
Assembly Member for Croydon and Sutton, and leader of City Hall Conservatives, Neil Garratt AM also continues to campaign hard against ULEZ. Sign up for his regular update of his work at https://www.neilgarratt.com/ and follow him on X at https://twitter.com/neilgarratt.
With the poor public transport infrastructure in Kenley, the imposition of ULEZ will hit residents hard.