This lack of enthusiasm underscores the UK public’s reluctance to embrace lower-emission policies, which may drive the current financial strain on households.
TfL recently expanded its ULEZ coverage, now encompassing the majority of Greater London, even extending to Heathrow Airport, which has faced its share of criticism. For anyone driving within this expanded zone with a non-compliant vehicle, the daily toll stands at £12.50.
Critics have been vocal from the very inception of this plan, with several councils attempting to thwart it as far back as February. However, the high court overruled these five councils in July, dismissing their legal challenge.
Even in Greater London, where many vehicles meet ULEZ standards, protests have erupted, destroying ULEZ monitoring technology.
76% of Brits unhappy with government energy crisis support
Considering that 76% of Brits are dissatisfied with government support amid the energy crisis, it becomes apparent that both the central government and local councils need to provide additional assistance to residents when implementing crucial emission reduction policies to avoid a public backlash.
The high cost of electric vehicles often discourages UK drivers from opting for low-emission alternatives. If the government aims to encourage British citizens to adopt sustainable transportation, it must weigh the financial implications of these decisions within the context of the ongoing national cost-of-living crisis.
A daunting challenge
The UK currently lags behind its emission reduction target of 68% by 2023, compared to 1990 levels. Without essential measures and increased public support, achieving this goal remains a daunting challenge for the government.
The editor of The Eco Experts, Charlie Clissitt, said: “It would obviously be a mistake to dismiss people’s anger at the expansion of ULEZ as unreasonable. This change has imposed a new cost on many Londoners, which is particularly difficult to reconcile with the current economic climate.
“Unfortunately, the UK’s route to net zero will involve a series of painful decisions, but they’re all necessary if the UK is serious about leading the charge against climate change.”