Businesses and livelihoods need to be considered
The Independent Garage Association (IGA) has met with Transport for London (TfL) to address concerns surrounding the upcoming expansion of the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ), scheduled to come into effect at the end of August.
The meeting aimed to discuss potential effects on independent garages operating within the expanded zone.
“Whilst we wholeheartedly support the need to protect health and provide clean air for the people of Greater London,” said Stuart James, chief executive of the IGA.
“We must not lose sight of the fact that businesses and livelihoods need to be considered.”
One of the central concerns raised during the meeting was the potential financial burden on motorists due to the proposed £12.50 per day charge for vehicle use within the extended ULEZ area.
While TfL have plans to support consumers with vehicle scrappage schemes, the £12.50 charge has the potential to impact vehicle owners seeking essential motoring services such as MOTs, servicing, and repairs, which are often provided by independent garages.
TfL’s commitment to emissions control updates was also noted with funding available for retrofitting from Euro 5 to Euro 6 standards. However, concerns were raised from the IGA regarding the availability of approved suppliers within the designated area with only one approved supplier for the whole area.
Stuart James concluded: “Our meeting with TfL was a step towards highlighting the concerns of independent garages. Protecting the environment is important, but we must find ways to strike a fair balance between environmental goals and the economic well-being of local businesses and individuals.”
The IGA says it remains committed to actively participating in further talks with TfL to ensure a balanced approach.
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