Fewest charge points for e-cars in boroughs fighting Ulez rollout

Outer London boroughs opposing the expansion of the ultra low emission zone were on Thursday accused of doing little to encourage residents to take up cleaner forms of transport.

Research by campaigners found Bexley, Bromley, Hillingdon and Harrow — which are leading the backlash against the Ulez expansion — have the fewest publicly accessible charging points.

Freedom of information responses obtained by the climate charity Possible from the councils found there were 26 in Bexley, 47 in Bromley, 29 in Harrow and 21 in Hillingdon.

More recent government data — which is also thought to include charging points in supermarket car parks and other private land — gave higher totals: 46 in Bexley, 104 in Bromley, 61 in Harrow and 168 in Hillingdon.

But both sets of figures showed these boroughs — and Ulez opponents such as Croydon and Sutton — were lagging behind other councils. Boroughs such as Westminster and Hammersmith and Fulham have the most points, at about 1,600 and 1,800 respectively, depending on which data source is used.

A number of suburban councils have called on Mayor Sadiq Khan, who is expanding the Ulez to the Greater London boundary on August 29, to abandon or delay the launch or increase the size of, and eligibility for, a £110 million scrappage fund to help low-income Londoners, small businesses and charities ditch non-compliant vehicles.

Leo Murray, of 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 have barely lifted a finger to do so themselves.”

A source close to Mr Khan said: “It’s becoming clear that some of these Tory boroughs simply don’t share the Mayor’s view that cleaning up our dirty air should be a priority. Rather than wasting hundreds of thousands of pounds on legal challenges to the Ulez, they should play their part locally supporting the transition to cleaner vehicles, including with the rollout of publicly accessible charging points.”