The Builders Merchants Federation (BMF) has written to the Mayor of London expressing its concern that Greater London may become a no- go area for many SME builders and other trades following the introduction of the expanded ULEZ zone in August.
The Ultra-Low Emission Zone is set to be expanded on August 29, imposing a £12.50 daily charge on non-compliant vehicles across all London boroughs. This means that anyone using a diesel van registered before September 2016 or petrol van registered before January 2006 will be charged to travel almost anywhere within the M25.
John Newcomb, BMF CEO said: “This is likely to impact SME tradespeople operating within the M25 as a significant proportion rely on non-compliant vehicles for their work. We can foresee a reluctance on their part to accept new work within the Greater London Boundary.
“This will have a knock-on effect for end customers, who will find it more difficult and costly to get work done. It will also affect sales turnover at merchant outlets within the new boundary, which will have consequences on the amounts of stock held and on their staffing levels.
“We have, therefore, written to Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, calling for this policy to be reconsidered.”
The BMF’s action is endorsed by its members.
Lords Builders Merchants has 13 branches employing 300 staff operating across Greater London. CEO, Shanker Patel, said: “We believe the introduction of the ULEZ extension will hurt the very people it is designed to assist. Transport for London should look to delay the introduction until such time as the current high level of inflation reduces, so those affected can afford to change their vehicles.”
Frank Elkins, Chief Operating Officer of Travis Perkins, said: “Although we fully appreciate the need to drive the impact of emissions down across the whole country, we are asking for more time for residents, tradespersons and workers to be able to adapt.”
Howard Luft, CEO of Selco, added: “The proposed ULEZ expansion will hurt the residents, workers and tradespeople of London alike, at a time when many are already experiencing great financial hardship with the current cost of living crisis in the UK.”