LIVID residents in London’s ULEZ border area say they are going out of business as the anti-car charge cuts their cities in half.
They are victims of a “disgusting” catchment line that runs to Crayford in south-east London and Dartford in Kent, choking up roads indiscriminately.
Some face a £12.50 fee just for leaving their home, while ULEZ conspirators place cameras at the only entrances to their streets.
Mehmet Ahmet, 54, of Welling, Kent, who runs greasy spoonful Happy Day’s Cafe in Crayford, says Labor Mayor Sadiq Khan’s plans have ruined him financially.
He told The Sun: “There would be riots in other countries, but people just take it here.”
“I’ve decided this year could be my last year, it’s getting harder and harder. It’s quiet, some days people don’t come.”
“People went into debt to get a new car, insurance doubled. My customers aren’t happy, they’re talking about scrapping their cars.”
“I have a T-reg Audi and need to get rid of it or the other option I have is to pay £12.50 every time I use the car.”
The Ulez dispute in the area is complicated by the border with London kentbisecting Maiden Lane along the center line.
On the Bexley side – within Greater London limits – residents are entitled to up to £7,000 for a van and £2,000 for a car if they scrap their ULEZ non-compliant vehicle.
But residents on the other side, just yards from the ULEZ expansion zone that comes into effect on August 29, may not be entitled to it.
Mehmet fumed: “How much car do you want to buy for £2,000? They will do anything to rob the country and the working class.”
The paltry scrap pay has enraged one contractor, who told The Sun from his Toyota Hilux: “I’m out of the question. I will lose 50 percent of my job.”
“I can’t go to ULEZ, I can’t afford £3,000 a year. I can’t afford a new van. It’s fine for the rich, but for the poor it ruins them and makes them poorer.”
As a general rule, most petrol cars manufactured before 2006 and diesel cars manufactured before 2015 have to pay the ULEZ fee.
To date, over 1,775 ULEZ cameras have been installed throughout the capital, out of a total of 2,750 planned.
The scheme is expected to cost £140m in taxpayers’ money.
Over at Crayford station, inside the ULEZ, taxi driver Mohammed Ali said the charge has brought him to his knees and is forced to hire a family car while his Peugeot is parked in his Dartford driveway.
The 35-year-old said: “It’s disgusting. As soon as I get in the car, I’m afraid to go anywhere because I know you’ll be fined. It is ridiculous.”
I do night shifts in Essex, which costs £12.50 en route, £12.50 back, £25 a day is ridiculous – that’s £6,000 a year
“As a Hackney Carriage driver you must have a wheelchair accessible vehicle and ULEZ compliant vehicles cost £30-40,000.
“Every time you hand in a £6 ticket, you have to pay £12. I don’t know what the mayor thinks.”
Mohammed is now considering a career in the moving sector.
Electrician Stuart Barrow, 54, lives within the Maiden Lane boundary and has been forced to sell his Honda VFR 800 motorcycle and get a new compliant VFR 1200.
He added: “I do night shifts in Essex, it costs £12.50 to get there, £12.50 back, £25 a day is ridiculous – that’s £6,000 a year.”
“It is a high cost for everyone. Many hospital workers are hit hard. People are only charged to get on and off their street.”
But a pregnant mother-of-one on Whitehill Road, who will have cameras at both entrances, says she fully supports ULEZ when it comes to child safety.
She explained: “It poses a huge risk to your health. Just buy a car that complies with the regulations and stop complaining! Bike, walk or take the bus.”
A few doors down, Chris Miles, 61, who has two compliant cars, sees both sides of the line and adds: “I understand why the mayor wants to introduce it, but I don’t see what difference it will make.”
“I understand why people are angry. The next thing the city council wants to do is put yellow lines on our street.”
And gardener Gary Johnson expressed anger at the expansion, adding: “It forces people to do things like fly tipping because they can’t afford the ULEZ if they go to the landfill.”
“He charges £12.50 entry, why not just stop all the cars? That’s just cash for the till.”
John Leach, 81, of Sidcup, Kent, has run a house clearance business since 1970 and was with colleague Adam, who lives in Erith, Kent.
In his Crayford Road shop he ranted: “Khan is the worst mayor in 500 years. I have to pay £12.50 every time I drive my truck out, it’s only 6 years old!”
Colleague Adam said ULEZ cost him £16,000 to replace his van and it has had an impact on his family, adding: “It breaks people and will cause long-term damage.”