Tradespeople ‘will take less sick leave’ if London’s ultra low emission zone is expanded, Sadiq Khan has claimed.
The mayor of London suggested the policy, which will force workers to invest in greener vehicles or pay £12.50 everyday, will help tradespeople take fewer days off due to better air quality.
In an interview with Fix Radio, Mr Khan said: ‘I understand, it’s particularly difficult now, tradespeople are taking time for work because of asthma and other health related respiratory conditions.
‘It’s in tradespeople’s interests to be having vehicles that are compliant because it means they take off less time from work by being unwell because of air pollution.’
But Fix Radio has found the charge would mean workers face losing 21 days worth of pay due to high costs.
The average day rate of a tradesperson equaled £150, with some claiming their daily costs have been as high as £300 in the capital, according to Pier Consulting.
Some 23% of tradespeople said it was too expensive to drive their van into London, whilst another 23% said the expansion has had a detrimental impact on their business.
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It comes just three weeks before the zone is set to be expanded to all 32 London boroughs.
From August 29 Londoners without a vehicle which complies with standard will be required to pay £12.50 every day.
But tradespeople with diesel vans are disproportionately hit as most diesel vehicles more than six years old are unlikely to meet emissions standards.
Clive Holland, who interviewed Mr Khan on Fix Radio, argued using public transport is also bad for your health.
‘Mr Khan mentioned how tradespeople won’t lose time off work because of better air quality. But I’ve seen reports which highlight how using public transport, especially the Underground, is extremely bad for your health,’ he said.
The expansion’s scrappage scheme has also been widened to ease the financial impact on Londoners.
Sadiq Khan said everyone with a polluting car facing charges is eligible for up to £2,000.
Mr Khan said he is ‘not prepared to step back, delay or water down vital green policies like ULEZ’ which will ‘save lives, protect children’s lungs and fight the climate crisis’.
He’s made the change after listening to the unease among residents in the capital amid a crippling cost of living crisis.
The Labour incumbent in City Hall also announced that small businesses and sole traders can get £21,000 to junk up to three vans, with £27,000 available for charities to replace three minibuses.
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