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Three in five Londoners oppose Sadiq Khan’s Ulez expansion

Sadiq Khan - Kirsty O'Connor/PA
Sadiq Khan - Kirsty O'Connor/PA

Sadiq Khan is under fresh pressure to drop his controversial expansion of the ultra-low emission zone (Ulez) as new polling reveals the majority of Londoners oppose the mayor’s flagship policy.

Around 60pc of Londoners said they oppose Ulez expansion across all of Greater London, according to a YouGov survey conducted on behalf of Conservative party members of the Greater London Assembly.

The poll also found that 51pc of respondents – most of whom identified as Labour voters – believe Ulez should not be expanded.

Some 34pc support Mr Khan’s proposals and 15pc “don’t know” – meaning there is 60pc opposition once the “don’t know” responses are excluded, the Conservatives said.

The results, seen by The Telegraph, contrast sharply with a separate YouGov poll, conducted on behalf of the mayor in October, which found 51pc of people supported widening Ulez across Greater London.

A consultation on expanding Ulez has been marred in controversy after being launched by Mr Khan earlier this year. It closed at the end of July.

Initial figures from the consultation, leaked to The Telegraph in September, revealed two-thirds of respondents were opposed to the expansion.

Mr Khan’s representatives accused drivers’ groups of “a coordinated campaign of opposition” to skew the findings. He subsequently commissioned his own YouGov poll in October, claiming that the results were a true reflection of Londoners’ sentiment towards his plans.

A vote is now due to take place in City Hall on Thursday on whether to support the public consultation’s findings. The results are then expected to be published in the coming days with a final “go/no-go” decision expected to be made by the mayor as early as next week.

The latest YouGov poll differs from the one run on behalf of Mr Khan by phrasing the question differently to the mayor.

The mayor’s poll provided three options for supporting the broadening of Ulez: next August (when the mayor plans to introduce the expansion), earlier than next August, or later than next August. The other alternative answers were to oppose or “don’t know”.

Meanwhile, the Conservative poll put forward only three answers – support, opposition, or “don’t know” – and specified that non-compliant cars would have to pay a £12.50-a-day fee.

Of the 1,072 people asked, some 377 identified as Labour voters compared with 251 Tory supporters. Opposition to the Ulez expansion was most prevalent among those aged more than 50.

Nick Rogers AM, GLA Conservatives transport spokesman, said: “This poll reaffirms what we and the Mayor already know: an overwhelming majority of Londoners are opposed to Sadiq Khan’s Ulez expansion.

“His Ulez expansion would be devastating for small businesses and low income families. The Mayor has no mandate to pursue this policy, which has been rejected by an overwhelming majority in the official consultation and in representative polling.

“London Assembly Members must vote to stop Sadiq Khan’s Ulez expansion today.”