Following the expansion of the Ultra Low Emissions Zone to the Greater London border last August, the council carried out a survey to find out more about the impact on residents and businesses in Elmbridge.

87% of respondents reported that the scheme had a significant impact on their lives.

The implications included economic, social and wellbeing.

The survey, which ran from September to January , found the expansion impacted three key areas:

  • Financial – 70%
  • Social – 62%
  • Shopping habits – 61%

Of the 154 responses, some said:

  • they were having to change travel routes to avoid car journeys, resulting in longer travel times to work or to hospital appointments.
  • they were changing where they shopped or met friends – avoiding Kingston and Surbiton
  • they were not seeing family and friends as frequently or were struggling to support elderly relatives.

Some respondents also told the authority that their mental health had suffered because of the expansion.

Of the businesses that completed the survey, some, mainly smaller ones, said they were unable to replace non-ULEZ compliant vehicles and others said they had to cease business in some areas or outlets because of the unmanageable costs.

An increase in traffic as people try to avoid the ULEZ zone was also reported and in some cases those who usually use Kingston Hospital for appointments, said it was now more difficult and costly.

Residents were also worried that they were not always sure when they were entering the ULEZ zone.

Statement from Elmbridge Borough Council. 

It remains deeply disappointing that the Mayor of London promoted ULEZ with next to no consultation with boroughs like Elmbridge, bearing in mind the impact this has had on our residents. Nonetheless we will continue to make every effort to champion their interests with the Mayor and Transport for London (TFL).

We will also continue to lobby TFL to expand the scrappage scheme to Elmbridge. The results will be passed on to Surrey County Council and will be reviewed by our pollution, climate change, economic and development teams, as well as our cost-of-living steering group to help decide on further action and support.

We are grateful to all of those who let us know their views and we reassure you that we will continue to lobby for the necessary support and mitigations to be put in place.

Cllr Bruce McDonald, Leader, Elmbridge Borough Council 

We’ve contacted Sadiq Khan’s office and TfL for comment.