Mayor plans to introduce Ultra Low Emission Zone in April 2019

Agreed about the exemption for black cabs which is very frustrating, in particular as they are one root cause of the traffic problems Central London sees everyday in the first place. The sad truth is though that the cabbies have got a very strong lobby indeed which I suspect could have even achieved a derailment of the whole scheme unless City Hall would give in to certain compromises.

Aside from this point I find that the Mayor, if what you say is true, has got his priorities right in putting tackling toxic emissions above blocking crucial house building on spurious grounds. I can’t think of any significant green spaces or historic woodlands being lost on our patch in the recent past, and I have no doubt whatsoever that Sydenham Woods, One Tree Hill and the like will still be there for everyone to enjoy at the end of Sadiq’s term, and long thereafter for that matter.

I’d rather give up a few acres of so called green space here and there around the edges than keep breathing the fumes from ever increasing traffic on our high streets. I would however certainly by fully supportive of actually planting more trees alongside our streets but I suspect that many residents wouldn’t, being worried about the shade or potential loss in car parking space.

Just to pick up on this one point, our local green space is under multiple threats at the moment, not least the HopCroft plan which proposed house building on land next to Honor Oak station

I think @BlancheCameron and @LewisSchaffer might be able to confirm otherwise.

With all due respect, but what you’re describing suggests that the proposed ULEZ seems to achieve exactly its intended purpose. If someone owning three non-compliant (personal?) cars and a motorbike(?) wouldn’t be incentivised to rethink their life choices then it would probably miss the trick. The other point of cause is that the charge only applies if the car actually enters the zone. Now given that one can hardly drive three cars and a motorbike at the same time, the number of cars owned shouldn’t be a material cost factor here. This ain’t nothing to do with VW in my view.

If the cars are for business use, then it looks indeed that there will be an unexpected cost knocking on the door that will have to be entered into spread sheets to work out the best cause of action. Given that the plans won’t implemented overnight, there is good time to plan for the times ahead and tighten the belt if needed.


Land yes, but only half of it green space (at most) with the rest being concreted over, fly-tipped and inaccessible to the public hence of little value to the community (I know a few who actually regard it as an eyesore), plus directly adjacent to “real” green space of probably at least hundred times the size.

I’m aware of this being discussed at length on this blog, so I won’t further dwell on it.

It used to be SINC-status green land but Southwark Council neglected it and now, here we are.

If they get away with building housing on this neglected land, they’ll have set a perverse and dangerous precedent.

On of the major issues that I foresee for our area resulting from the extended ULEZ is the fact that all the non-compliant cars, or their drivers rather, will try to avoid the zone wherever possible even it this involves a detour, meaning not only a higher concentration of those cars on the South Circular and any roads south thereof, but also more traffic in general. It will be interesting to see whether this would actually make air quality worse, but I wouldn’t expect it getting any better, around Forest Hill station in particular.

OK, for clarity -
My family has two cars and one motorcycle. One car is a large people carrier my wife uses for work which can’t be upgraded to a newer vehicle because car manufacturers don’t make cost-effective 8 seat cars. The other is my 5 seater car which I use for work and for ferrying my two small children. As both myself and my wife work from home, the cars aren’t used at peak times for pollution, and, as noted, all the vehicles are petrol. None of these things are a “life choice” and all have a practical commercial use. Of course, assuming I need to use all of them at some point, they will all need replacing and therefore the number of vehicles is indeed material. If I don’t replace them, then the policy would have failed in its aim to improve encourage people to only drive newer cars.

Moreover, you have failed to note the point of “non-compliant”. This was an arbitrary age decided upon by policy wonks at TfL (who are nice people) based upon flawed data. Transport and Environment (a Brussels NGO) have shown that many diesel vehicles emit pollutants 35 times their limit when tested in “real world” conditions. The gap for petrol vehicles is significantly smaller. This data was released after TfL’s modelling took place. This effectively means that TfL will be punishing all car owners (and motorcycle owners) for owning older and cheaper vehicles because diesel vehicles cheated on their emissions testing and the regulations aren’t modelled closely enough on real world use. I, and many Forest Hill residents, are collateral damage.

This policy needs to be rethought.

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A large area of Camberwell Old Cemetery woodland has been cleared, the photo in this article shows this very well:

Also a glade has been removed from One Tree Hill, included a 60ft poplar and about 40 oaks:

It doesn’t stop there, more felling to come.

Mature trees are able to scrub the air of NOx and PM. This is making a contribution to our air quality right now - low cost too. It will take many years for new growth to replace that function. It may take as long to ban diesels, worthy intervention though that is.

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Sorry, this is inaccurate. The only portion of hard standing was used for foundations for temporary site offices when the station lifts were installed IIRC. There is an access gravel road also. Most of the remaining much larger area is grassland which includes a wild flower meadow on the embankment - this looks rather superb in summer.

I agree that it could have improved value to the community, which of course it had when there were big trees on it (Southwark council were responsible for that too). In the meantime it serves an additional function by linking with other green spaces such as the one you mention (also threatened) and others locally. An important green corridor.

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I can’t think of any but others might. Heard of lots of street trees and trees in school playgrounds being wantonly felled though - to save money not health obviously.

On the black cab issue, I think they might be being made exempt because of new policy coming in that all new licensed black taxis have to be electric from 2018 and existing will be offered incentives to transfer to electric. Bit more info here

Coventry car manufacturing has a few new jobs making the new electric black cabs - which are owned by a Chinese company these days.
All new minicabs however have until 2020 to run solely on electric.


I just received an email from TfL with a link to the consultation on the ULEZ proposals. Posting here in case anyone else hadn’t noticed that you can submit views until June.


The new 24/7 Ultra Low Emission Zone starts in central London on 8 April and vehicles passing through will have to comply or pay a daily fee.

From 25 Oct 2021, the ULEZ will be extended to include large parts of Lewisham

I would have thought cab apps such as Uber and ViaVan are just as much to blame as Khan’s ULEZ? It’s much easier to book a private hire vehicle using them than calling up Forest Hill Cars for example.

I don’t think people rely on cars as much as they think they do. There are other options and people are resourceful enough to find better ways.

I hate the idea of pollution being linked to asthma, childhood illness and death, & other lung disease, cancer, dementia, psychosis, heart disease, and stroke.

I’m mystified that people spend hours sat in their cars and the spend extra time and money going to the gym. Why not just integrate activity into the time we already spend getting about?

And it’s frustrating people lead sedentary lives associated with every type of ill health and then draw more heavily on the NHS to sort it out than if they had lead active lives.