Funeral director says ULEZ charges will mean 'grieving families' paying more to bury loved ones

Christopher McCafferty, funeral director of M&R Funeral Service in Buckinghamshire says he would need hundreds of thousands of pounds to replace his vehicles. Credit: ITV Meridian

A funeral director says the expansion of London's ultra-low emission zone is "not fair" as it will cost his business up to £300 a week.

Christopher McCafferty, funeral director of M&R Funeral Service in Buckinghamshire says he would need to replace his vehicles with ones that are compliant, which he says he can not afford.

The company would need five new vehicles, costing around £160,000 each.

Non-compliant, and mostly older, vehicles have to pay £12.50 a day when entering the new, expanded, ULEZ zone, which includes most of the area within the M25.

Failure to pay within three days can lead to a £180 fine.

Mr McCafferty said: “We visit the outer areas of the new zone maybe four, five times a week.

"With limousines and hearses going in, each vehicle is going to be affected by that charge. So each funeral is going to add £50-60 onto the price of the job."

The funeral service also pays £15 congestion charge on top of the ULEZ charge so they face a cost of £27.50 every time they go into London. Credit: ITV Meridian

Mr McCafferty is absorbing the additional cost into the business but said it is likely it will have to be passed onto customers in the future.

He continued: "I’m quite against it, I’m not happy with it. I don’t feel like the charges are fair but there’s not really much that can be done other than forcing us to buy newer vehicles.

"In the position that they’re in, they're grieving families and now they may have to pay more.

"Fairgrounds are exempt from the charge, however, we’re not and we’re trying to help people and keep the costs down."

The zone is being expanded to clean up London's air and improve the health of its residents.

The new zone includes Heathrow - meaning those in older cars will be charged to reach the airport, on top of the £5 drop-off fee and parking charges.

It is estimated around 4,000 Londoners die prematurely each year because of long-term exposure to air pollution.

Under the new rules, generally, anyone who has a petrol vehicle older than 2005 or a diesel before 2015 will have to pay - or be forced to change cars.

Some people are eligible for a scheme where they could be paid £2000 to scrap their car.

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