ULEZ motion in Bromley Council

On Monday 18 July at 7pm, a meeting of the full Council (all 58 councillors) will take place in London Borough of Bromley. One of the items that will be discussed is a motion which calls on Mayor of London Sadiq Khan to abandon his plans to expand the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ). The text of the motion can be found below. We encourage Bromley residents to do two things:

  1. Submit questions to the Portfolio Holders for Transport (Cllr Bennett) and Environment (Cllr Cuthbert) around this motion which they are moving. Do this by sending an email to committee.services@bromley.gov.uk, including a 50 word question on ULEZ (see below for more ideas about questions to ask), and explain your question is for the Council meeting on Monday 18 July. Questions must be received by 5pm on Tuesday 12 July.
  2. Use this link to reply to the consultation on the expansion of the ULEZ.

The text of the motion is as follows:

“This Council supports the objective of improving air quality and to this end has published a comprehensive Air Quality Action Plan 2020-2025 with a matrix of twenty-five actions. The Council is committed to ensuring that its operation is carbon net zero by 2027. In addition, a further 5,000 trees are being planted on the borough’s roads to add to the existing 36,000. We are also continuing our rollout of LED street lighting, installing new electric charge points, and investing in renewable energy. The Council, however, disagrees strongly with the proposal to extend the Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) to outer London by August 2023. Bromley is, geographically, the largest London Borough, and contains many rural areas which have little public transport and where, unlike inner London, residents are dependent on their cars. The Council is particularly concerned about the impact on the self-employed, small businesses which rely on their vehicles to conduct their trade and on elderly residents and others on fixed incomes. Already facing substantial increases in fuel costs, the imposition of a daily charge to drive in the borough will be an additional financial burden and, for many, without the means purchase a compliant vehicle, it will mean they can no longer trade or afford to drive. The imposition of the ULEZ charge on motorists, including those entering Bromley from neighbouring counties will also be detrimental, especially for those like nurses, police officers, supermarket shelf fillers and others working anti-social hours when public transport is not available. The Council therefore calls on Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, to abandon his plans to extend the ULEZ.”

Some questions

  1. When will Bromley Council report on progress made against the matrix of 25 actions contained in the Council’s Air Quality Action Plan, and will the Council consider introducing targets to this plan in order to measure progress?
  2. National Travel Survey statistics indicate the most common purpose for a trip by car was for leisure (30%) in 2020. Given that these trips negatively impact other residents (e.g. 23% Bromley households with no car), how does Bromley Council propose to reduce those trips?
  3. Just 2 A roads in Bromley Borough are the responsibility of TfL, and yet page 3 of Bromley Council’s Air Quality Action Plan states that the majority of Bromley’s busy A roads are the responsibility of TfL. Please comment.
  4. We need to halve emissions by 2030 to keep global warming to 1.5 degrees. The Council’s own calculations indicate Bromley’s 5000 extra trees will reduce borough emissions by 0.008% after 30 years. If not ULEZ, then what methods will Bromley Council use to reduce the borough’s emissions?
  5. In the past decade, vehicle miles travelled in Bromley borough increased from 800 million to a billion. If not ULEZ, then what methods will Bromley Council use to reduce congestion and carbon emissions and air pollution from transport?

School Streets Showdown in Bromley

Road Open Sign, Correx - Brightkidz % road open sign
Source: https://brightkidz.co.uk/product/road-open-sign-correx/

A special meeting of Bromley Council’s Environment Committee will be held at 9am on Friday 15 July 2022. This meeting has one agenda item: the future of School Streets in London Borough of Bromley. If you’re a Bromley resident, do this now:

  1. Send an email to committee.services@bromley.gov.uk, including a 50 word question on School Streets (see below for more ideas about questions to ask), and explain your question is for the Environment Committee meeting on Friday 15 July. Questions must be received by 5pm on Monday 11 July.
  2. Write to your councillors (your elected representatives in local government) today to ask them why Bromley came 27th out of 33 London Boroughs in the 2022 Healthy Streets Scorecard (published on 5 July 2022), and what they intend to do about it. If one of your councillors is Cllr Thomas Turrell (councillor for Hayes and Coney Hall), you might want to ask him why he didn’t voice his support for Hayes Primary School Street at the Environment Committee meeting on 21 June, given that this School Street is in his ward, and he was present at the meeting.
  3. If you’re free 9am til 10am on Friday 15 July, fill out this form to register to attend the Environment Committee meeting on School Streets. We’ll see you there.

Why now?

At the Environment meeting on 21 June, a fractious debate took place over the council’s review of School Streets. On 24 June, Cllr Nicholas Bennett (Portfolio Holder for Transport) decided Bromley Council will not actively roll out School Streets in the borough. The following Friday (1 July), Bromley Labour and Bromley Liberal Democrats both independently “called in” this decision. This means the decision goes back to the Environment Committee to reconsider. This is happening on Friday 15 July, and that’s why we hope as many Bromley residents as possible will submit questions to this meeting or attend it in person.

What happens at a call in?

A “call in” meeting revisits a decision made by Bromley Council. Historically, call in meetings in Bromley provide a valuable opportunity to show the strength of feeling on an issue. For example, the call in meeting on the decision to relocate Beckenham Library took place during working hours on a weekday, but the public gallery was packed.

It is worth noting that it is not only opposition parties who call in decisions. For example, Bromley Conservative councillors previously called in a decision on the Crofton Road cycle way.

What is a School Street?

You can find out more by clicking one of these links:

Bromley Living Streets’ briefing on school streets

Mums for lungs

Living Streets


Questions that can be submitted by residents to the call in meeting

  1. ANPR camera enforcement is used for all School Streets in Islington (where 49% of schools have School Streets), Hackney (45%), and Bromley’s neighbour Lewisham. Bromley hasn’t trialled ANPR for School Streets, on grounds of cost, but elsewhere ANPR cameras generate revenue. Will Bromley Council now trial ANPR for School Streets?
  2. Bromley has the highest % of trips made by car in the whole of London at 53%, and a target within the Mayor’s Transport Strategy to reduce this to 40%. Given the School Streets decision, can the Portfolio Holder now provide an indication of how this target will be reached?