Harringay online

Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

The TFL check your ULEZ conformity site has ( predictably ) crashed. The Dartford crossing payment site has still not been fixed. The Woolwich Ferry is out of action as usual. You wouldn't want to try to fly anywhere.

Can't we get anything right ?

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Good to see so many agreeing with Kotkas.  As always its the troublemakers making the headlines. They need to get it into their heads that everyone's health and and the future of their children matter more than cars, convenience and money.

The impact of this on the working man/woman might be clearer if builders, plumbers, electricians and associated tradesmen/women started listing the daily ULEZ tax on their invoices. 

£12.50 per day, £75 per week, £300 per month is difficult to absorb and will have to be passed on to customers. And yes, tradesmen and women could just buy or lease a compliant vehicle but they need to be able to meet the upfront cost and/or repayments. I expect that those who could afford a compliant vehicle would already have one!

All this from a supposedly Labour administration.

Little Genghis. I like it and its certainly as apt as the usual Saddique Kan't or the more offensive but entirely accurate variation you might hear used on the average building site.

That’s hilarious Gorgon.

Thanks Michael. I'm glad you like it. However, with my surname there are a thousand more creative names you could have used than Gorgon. I stopped hearing that one before secondary school started.

When ULEZ expansion was first announced, my regular builder pointed out that he’d bought his (now non-compliant) diesel van in good faith, but replacing it was beyond his means — the cost of scarce second-hand vehicles had tripled under the pressure to replace obsolete ones, and new ones were already far more expensive. Small businesses such as his have already been hard-hit, and no mitigation measures were put in place before either the original or expanded ULEZ areas were defined.

So all these builders are living in the outer ULEZ one and never did any work in the zone we've been in for the last 4 years? They've had 4 years to see the writing on the wall. And are all good faith builders who never do cash in hand, never dodge VAT, etc etc but cant afford £12.50. 

Elizabeth — You can’t generalise from one example. The initial conversation I had with my builder (whose VAT-inclusive invoices I have, by the way) was pre-pandemic, when ULEZ already covered inner London; he complained that the rules had been changed after his van purchase, that selling a non-compliant but otherwise perfectly serviceable van which he’d bought for the longterm was extremely difficult, for obvious reasons, and that supply of replacements had been strangled by over-demand, leading to huge price rises. (It’s analagous to buying an item at full-price and then finding it half-price in a sale the next week: you feel you’ve been duped.) My point — as in my previous comment — is that, while I support ULEZ, I’d suggest that more could and should have been done in advance to help those who do actually lose out as a result.

Everyone wants clean air. But I suspect some people just can't afford to put it as high as you on their list of priorities. "Earning a living to feed my children" often trumps it.

As for democracy, some fellow clean-air advocates think it moves too slowly: #JustStopOil. The Suffragettes and civil rights movement in the US in the 1960s agreed with that point of view.  A person's tolerance for vandalism or disruption appears to be directly proportional to his or her belief in the underlying cause. Calls for the importance of relying on the democratic process are rarely based on it as a point of principle.

One of the biggest problems with the ULEZ expansion (as with Haringey’s LTNs) is the failure to provide proper alternative transport or mitigation measures before their introduction. By all accounts the bus “superloop” in the ULEZ extension zone has been poorly cobbled together and the scrappage scheme was only extended at the last moment in a panic after the Uxbridge byelection (while promised LTN “mitigation” in Green Lanes has simply been abandoned by the looks of it). What riles so many people is the appearance of the GLA or local authorities — apparently arbitrarily — imposing traffic changes without making public transport or other provision in advance to help the people directly inconvenienced by them. It looks completely arrogant and seriously undermines local democracy, reinforcing popular prejudice that nobody ever listens to residents. Still, no doubt Suella Braverman’s new “zero tolerance” policing will mean that camera saboteurs — and IDS — are tracked down immediately, arrested and prosecuted just as vigorously as the banner-wavers at the Coronation were.

Public transport isn't going to help your virtuous cash strapped builder though although mine brings his van on day one and uses his bicycle for the rest of the days of the job. I pay for the visitors permits. Does your builder care two hoots about the cots of those  - I doubt it. Also there is plenty of more than adequate public transport in Haringey.

Elizabeth — Two different points here: small businesses and traders who find the rules have changed after they bought then-compliant vehicles; individuals relying on now-uncompliant vehicles for whom public transport isn’t a viable alternative because provision is so poor. This thread was started in light of ULEZ expansion to OLBs; bus/train/tube are available in Haringey, not so much in some OLBs. Published stats suggest that the number of non-compliant vehicles in OLBs is, in any case. fewer than 10%; the question is whether this includes a disproportonate number of poorer people who can’t afford to scrap existing vehicles (traders being a separate category) and now have more difficulty in moving around.

Guardian article, based on FoI, here (https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2023/aug/29/tories-accused-...) suggests the money-raising pressure came from the government, which wanted Khan to increase the congestion charge as part of the Treasury’s screw-tightening on TfL. ULEZ expansion looks benign (and beneficial) in comparison.

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