A family-run Croydon haulier says the expansion of London’s Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) is directly forcing businesses to leave the capital.

ELB Partners managing director Peter Eason said four of his company’s customers have moved out of London altogether since the ULEZ was expanded across all London boroughs at the end of August.

The businesses in question have relocated across all four corners of the UK and cited the ever-rising costs of operating in London for leaving.

The ULEZ expansion was fraught with controversy at the time it was announced by Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, and Peter said its impacts were starting to trickle down.

Motorists driving anywhere within the ULEZ have to pay a daily charge of £12.50 if their vehicle doesn’t meet the emissions standards.

The zone initially only covered central London, but the expansion saw it double in size to cover all 32 London boroughs.

Peter said: “We’re seeing businesses leaving London and relocating all over the country due to the impact of the ULEZ on their bottom line.

It is really damaging for our industry, too. For ELB it has a minimal impact, because we have invested heavily in a modern fleet and our vehicles meet the emissions standardsdictated to us.

“However, what it does mean is drivers on lower incomes who use older but perfectly-roadworthy vehicles are being punished. The poorer you are, the harder you are affected.

“Drivers in this situation can’t afford to clock up daily charges of £12.50 just to go about their work. It’s unsustainable.”

Pallet-Track member ELB holds FORS Gold status, an award which judged it on vehicle safety and emissions, which it won for the ninth consecutive year in 2023.

The company has invested heavily in the installation of safety equipment in its trucks to support drivers, including AI cameras and telematics technology, which help to reduce risks, such as fatigue, tailgating and vulnerable road users, through data analysis and incident detection.

ELB was established in 1970 as a three-person partnership and Peter bought the business from his father George in 1985. It now employs around 60 staff and moved to a brand-new 60,000 sq. ft headquarters in Beddington Farm Road in 2021.

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