Motorists are having to wait online as TfL’s website is inundated (Image: Getty)
Motorists trying to check whether their vehicles comply with Sadiq Khan’s ultra-low emission zone (ULEZ) rules are having to wait minutes to access Transport for London’s website.
They are being greeted by a message which states: “Our website is busier than usual. You are now in a queue, and your expected wait time is 3 minute(s). If you prefer not to wait, please try again later.”
At midnight last night London became the world’s largest pollution charging area as the existing zone was expanded to include the whole of the capital.
People who drive in the zone in a vehicle which does not meet minimum emissions standards are now forced to pay a £12.50 daily fee or risk a £180 fine, reduced to £90 if paid within 14 days.
Protesters against ULEZ (Image: Getty)
But visitors to TfL’s website who wanted to check if their vehicle meets the requirements were faced with an error message on Tuesday (August 29).
An AA spokesman said: “Some AA members experienced delays checking with the TfL website whether their vehicles were compliant this morning.
“Most members did get through after waiting several minutes.”
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has faced fierce opposition to ULEZ, although a £160million scheme run by TfL enables residents, small businesses, sole traders and charities scrapping non-compliant cars to claim grants.
Sadiq Khan has been accused of using ULEZ as a ‘cash grab’ (Image: Getty)
There have been regular protests against the plan and anti-ULEZ vigilantes have repeatedly targeted enforcement cameras installed in the new areas in recent months.
Videos posted online show people described as Blade Runners cutting the cameras’ wires or completely removing the devices.
The Metropolitan Police said it had recorded 288 crimes relating to the cameras as of August 1.
The scheme’s expansion has been blamed for Labour’s failure to win last month’s Uxbridge and South Ruislip by-election and pitted the Labour mayor of London against members of his own party.
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Transport Secretary Mark Harper wants London boroughs to have a say in road user charging schemes (Image: Getty)
Transport Secretary Mark Harper claimed Mr Khan wants to roll out more road user charging schemes and accused London’s mayor of using ULEZ as a cash grab.
He told LBC a number of local authorities in the capital don’t support the scheme coming into force, adding the Government supports a backbench amendment to legislation which will mean any road user charging schemes will have to be backed by London boroughs.
Mr Harper said: “And that’s important because if you look at the Mayor of London’s own website for his Project 2030 scheme, he wants to roll out more road user charging schemes, pay-per-mile schemes across London.
“There are a whole bunch of jobs on that website, some of them paying up to £90,000 a year of your listeners’ money, to do pay-per-mile schemes in the future. And we want to make sure that if he were to try and do that or any future mayor, London local councils would have to support it for it to come into force.”
The Secretary of State confirmed the amendment, put forward by Tory peer Lord Moylan, will only cover “London boroughs”.
Mr Khan accused Mr Harper of “factual errors”, telling the BBC: “I think he made a couple of factual errors, which is really worth me clarifying.
“If this was about making money, I’d have acceded to the demand from the Government to expand the congestion charge much wider than it currently is. That would have been a cash grab, but I said ‘no’.
“If it was a cash grab – as the Government is saying – just to raise money, I’d have acceded to their demand to expand the ULEZ without proper consultation and a proper scrappage scheme.
“This is about helping our air be cleaner. In a couple of years’ time, TfL have predicted there will be no additional money made because the number of non-compliant vehicles (will decrease), but every penny net made is used to reinvest in public transport, improving buses in outer London, improving public transport in our city.”
Mr Khan said TfL has received more than 15,000 applications for its ULEZ scrappage scheme in the past week.