The three Sutton South Councillors are united in opposing the extension of ULEZ to Sutton. While everyone is concerned about air quality, it will have a detrimental effect on so many of our residents, particularly those who run businesses or depend on using a car to get to work or to see family. At the Sutton Council meeting on 24 April we debated ULEZ. This is the speech Louise made.

“So ULEZ… I don’t have a car and I don’t drive, so it won’t affect me…

Only, actually it will…

You see, as I don’t have a car I have to rely on people that do, and many of the people I know do not have ULEZ compliant vehicles…

I rely on 

The friend that’s taken me and my son on days out to places that we wouldn’t be able to get to by public transport,

The neighbour that’s taken me and my son Christmas shopping so we didn’t have to carry everything on a long bus journey,

The friend that’s picked me and my son up from hospital when my son was taken in for an emergency,

The friend who has moved furniture for me in his van.

The family and friends that come and visit me from outside the borough.

This is just a tiny snapshot of the people who I and people like me depend on who will have to change their vehicles because of the ULEZ, but these people are all going to struggle to replace those cars or vans because they are already wrestling with the after effects of COVID and the cost of living crisis. Public transport isn’t currently an alternative in Sutton, it’s too expensive, too infrequent and too patchy throughout the borough.

Don’t get me wrong, I live on a busy cut through road and would appreciate cleaner air and all the health benefits, but the effects on the quality of life and opportunities for me and my son are just too great. This will leave so many people like me without that extra help they need and rely on, they will find it harder to work, socialise and access healthcare and become even more isolated than before.

So you can see, this doesn’t just affect a small amount of vehicles as the Mayor of London claims in his now withdrawn advert, the knock on effect if this is brought in its current form will actually affect a much wider community of people whose lifelines will be cut. “

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