MP’s Bill to Reverse ULEZ Expansion to Be Debated in Parliament Today

MP's Bill to Reverse ULEZ Expansion to Be Debated in Parliament Today

Parliament Set to Discuss Dartford MP’s Bill to Overturn ULEZ Expansion

A new bill proposed by MP Gareth Johnson is set to be debated in Parliament, with the aim of giving the government the power to overturn the latest expansion of London’s ultra-low emission zone (ULEZ).

The ULEZ was controversially expanded in August to cover the capital’s outer boroughs, including Bexley and Bromley, up to the border with Dartford and Sevenoaks. This has been met with opposition from Johnson, who has labeled it an “unfair tax” that disproportionately affects working people and those on lower incomes.

Johnson’s private members bill, which was tabled in December, has gained support from the government and is now being formally published. The bill aims to reverse the ULEZ expansion and put restrictions in place for any future expansions.

The ULEZ has been defended by Mayor Sadiq Khan as a necessary step in tackling London’s air pollution, which has been linked to premature deaths. However, Johnson argues that the decision to expand the zone was not in the Mayor’s manifesto or transport strategy and that the consultation showed that people did not want it. He also disputes its environmental benefits and calls it a “taxation without accountability.”

The bill will be debated in the House of Commons today (March 22) for its second reading, with MPs invited to discuss and debate its merits. Despite the government’s support, there are no guarantees that the bill will pass through both the House of Commons and the House of Lords.

Before the expansion, 70,000 motorists in Kent were fined for driving into the ULEZ, with the revenue going towards transport improvements. This has been met with opposition from local councils and protests from residents.

Transport Secretary Mark Harper has expressed the government’s support for the bill, stating that the ULEZ expansion is a tax on the poorest motorists and has only a moderate impact on air pollution. However, he also acknowledges the challenges the bill may face in Parliament.

The debate over the ULEZ expansion and its impact on the community continues, with Johnson’s bill being the latest development in the ongoing discussion.

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