New analysis from climate charity Possible shows that several boroughs of outer London that have expressed opposition to the expansion of the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) rank among the worst in London in terms of the number of electric vehicle (EV) charger installations.
Possible’s data shows that, as of October 2022, the London boroughs of Havering, Harrow, Hillingdon, Bexley, Barking and Dagenham and Bromley, all of which are opposed to the ULEZ, had between them installed fewer than 200 public EV chargepoints.
The organisation submitted freedom of information requests to obtain these figures, which show that there are only 26 public chargepoints in Bexley, 47 in Bromley, 29 in Harrow and 21 in Hillingdon.
In contrast, Hammersmith & Fulham, which supports the ULEZ, was the single best-performing borough and saw the installation of 1,609 total chargepoints.
Healthy Street Scorecard, which comprises a group of transport, health, road safety and environment campaigns, has also published data suggesting anti-ULEZ boroughs provide some of the fewest numbers of protected cycle lanes and bus priority lanes.
Croydon reportedly had the least protected cycle lanes of any outer London borough, and among anti-ULEZ boroughs, only Barking and Dagenham had more than the London average for bike lanes.
Leo Murray, co-director of climate charity Possible, said: “It is deeply ironic to hear these councils demand the Mayor does more to support Londoners to switch to greener transport when they’ve barely lifted a finger to do so themselves.
“Against a backdrop of failure and negligence in their own jurisdictions, bad faith complaints about the impacts of ULEZ expansion on constituents ring very hollow.
“If people living in these boroughs feel trapped driving dirty vehicles, then perhaps their councils should be using the powers and funding available to them to help residents clean up their travel, instead of carping from the sidelines.”
The climate charity points out that Harrow council is preparing to spend up to £400,000 of public money contesting the ULEZ expansion in court, but that figures from the government’s Office of Zero Emission Vehicles reveal that it has successfully applied for less than half this amount in grant funding for public EV chargepoints. Possible added that the local authority has spent just £70,000 on such installations so far.
What’s more, the charity added that, while carbon emissions from road transport have been falling across the whole of London, this reduction is not evenly applied across all boroughs, with levels even increasing in the anti-ULEZ boroughs of Havering, Bexley, Bromley, Croydon and Harrow during the years leading up to the pandemic.