Ulez spells ‘end for modern classic car’

Paul Robins, a 60 year-old part time plumber in Biggin Hill, Kent with his similar compliant and non-compliant BMWs.  (PA)
Paul Robins, a 60 year-old part time plumber in Biggin Hill, Kent with his similar compliant and non-compliant BMWs. (PA)

The Ulez expansion could mean the death of the modern classic car, it has been claimed, despite hopes the extended zone could help clean up London’s toxic air.

The clean air zone is set to widen to the London boundary next Tuesday and will see drivers of the most polluting vehicles face a £12.50 daily charge to use them.

Mayor Sadiq Khan has said the scheme is the “right one to save lives” as studies show pollution costs the city’s health care system up to £3.7 billion a year.

Trevor Manlow, from Hillingdon, said he was locked into a finance deal on his 2000 Harley Davidson Dyna Wide Glide with more than three-and-a-half years left and would refuse to pay the charge.

He said: “It makes me angry. Kids see these cars and bikes on the street and at shows and smile, they love it. However, the Ulez expansion is going to kill this as fewer people will be taking them out.

“I’ll still ride my bike, I’ll just refuse to pay the charge and I’ll take it to a garage to make it Ulez compliant at the first opportunity.”

Paul Robins, from Biggin Hill, Kent, has a mid-2000 BMW Alpina B10 3.3 litre, a mid-2000 BMW 530i Touring and a mid-2002 Honda CBR600 motorbike. He said the Ulez expansion “could be the death of the modern classic car”.

Retired aircraft engineer Peter McGeough plans to scrap his 1999 Volvo V70, which he has owned for 20 years, and said he cannot afford to buy a Ulez-compliant car.

The 80-year-old, from Greenford, said: “The support scheme just isn’t enough and as this is my only vehicle I’m going to have to depend on my family to help with my day-to-day jobs like my food shopping, going to the doctor, as I just have no other way of getting there.”

City Hall has introduced a £160 million scrappage scheme, which provides drivers with grants to replace vehicles with less polluting models, Mr Khan said: “I’ve continued to listen to Londoners’ concerns and every single Londoner with a non-Ulez compliant vehicle is now eligible for financial support.”

He has also repeatedly criticised the Government for not supporting London’s scrappage scheme.

It comes as motoring lawyer Nick Freeman warned that drivers entering the expanded Ulez from the Home Counties could have grounds to challenge fines.

Six of the seven Tory-run boroughs bordering the capital have refused to let TfL install Ulez warning signs.

Mr Freeman said the absence of such warning signs could result in a wave of successful challenges.