Councils could be blamed for crashes after refusal to put up ULEZ warning signs, TfL warns

Traffic heading towards London (l), a ULEZ sign in central London (r) Credit: PA

Transport for London has warned three county councils they could be to blame for road crashes because of their refusal to cooperate with the controversial Ultra Low Emission Zone.

TfL wants councils to install warning signs on roads crossing the border into London to alert drivers of the approaching clean air zone.

But Conservative controlled authorities bordering Greater London are opposed to Labour mayor Sadiq Khan’s plan to extend the ULEZ on August 29th.

Owners of cars and vans which fail to meet modern emissions standards face a daily fee of £12.50 to drive anywhere in Greater London.

TfL accused three authorities - Hertfordshire, Kent and Surrey - of failing to comply with a legal duty under the Traffic Management Act 2004 to make their roads safe.

It claimed three major junctions where a lack of advance warning signs ‘increases the risk of unsafe manoeuvres’ had been identified:

  • The A411 approach to Stirling Corner roundabout, Hertfordshire

  • Hewitts roundabout, Kent

  • The intersection of Stanwell Moor Road and Southern Perimeter Road near Heathrow Airport, Surrey.

A TfL spokesperson said: “We have been trying to work collaboratively with the councils surrounding London to ensure that their residents have as much information and warning of the ULEZ boundary as possible, but so far this has only been possible with Slough Borough Council.

“The refusal of the other authorities to work with us means that their residents will not have as much information as we would like as they are driving towards the zone.”

Hertfordshire Council added: "The expansion of the ULEZ zone by the Mayor of London to Hertfordshire’s borders will price some of the lowest paid in our county off the roads.

"No amount of signage will change the fact that our residents and businesses face a £12.50 penalty for travelling into the capital.

"It’s time for the Mayor to do the right thing and pause the expansion before redrawing the boundary to start at public transport hubs in outer London."

Matt Furniss from Surrey County Council said: "Surrey County Council has informed TfL that we will not enter into a Section 8 agreement which is needed for them to place signage and cameras on our highway, whilst there isn’t any mitigation in place to minimise the impact of the expansion on Surrey residents.

"Whilst the extended scrappage scheme looks to be a step in the right direction, this will have no impact on those outside of London.

"This means that people living in Surrey will not only have to pay the ULEZ charge, but also pay all costs to scrap their own car as the scrappage scheme only applies to people living inside London.

"Combined with the recent decision to withdraw the day travelcard, it is now increasingly difficult for those outside of London to travel in and out at a fair price.

"We continue to urge The Mayor and TfL to do what is right and extend the scrappage scheme outside of London for those that are impacted, provide exemption for key workers, and provide more and better bus routes between Surrey and London."

A Kent County Council spokesperson said: "We fully understand and appreciate our obligations as a highways authority, and the safety of road users is always our priority.

"We stand by our decision not to adopt ULEZ signage for as long as there is no mitigation to minimise the impact of the expansion of the scheme on Kent residents.

"KCC is committed to the aim of improving air quality, but this must go hand-in-hand with appropriate mitigations, including better availability of public transport – something the Mayor is looking to reduce for non-Londoners with the withdrawal of the day travel card.

"More recently we note that the Mayor of London is potentially looking to raise more money through the potential introduction of tolls at the Blackwall Tunnel. This is another indication that he has no consideration for the impact it could have on Kent residents and businesses to be further financially penalised."

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