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Home Tradesman Insights ULEZ and Tradespeople: Could Cleaner Air Prevent Sick Days?

ULEZ and Tradespeople: Could Cleaner Air Prevent Sick Days?

The expansion of London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) across all London boroughs recently took effect on August 29, 2023. The controversial development has sparked debate on how it will impact tradespeople who work in the capital.

Tradespeople who rely on older ‘non-compliant’ vans for work could face daily charges of £12.50 to travel within the zone. But Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has claimed that compliant vehicles will result in fewer sick days for tradespeople due to improved air quality.

Mayor Claims Health Benefits

In a recent interview, Khan proposed that the ULEZ expansion will benefit London tradespeople, claiming that they are missing work due to “asthma and other health-related issues caused by respiratory conditions”.

He said: “it’s in tradespeople’s interests to be having vehicles that are compliant because it means they take off less time from work by being unwell.”

But the Mayor of London’s words have drawn some scepticism. Many tradespeople are concerned about the financial impact of ULEZ, with some reporting that it has already made driving in London too costly.

“Divorced from Reality”

In response to Khan’s remarks, Conservative London mayoral candidate Susan Hall argued that he is “divorced from reality”, claiming that he “doesn’t listen to Londoners and has no idea what it’s like to run a small business.”

Brian Berry, chief executive of the Federation of Master Builders, has also expressed apprehension. He has urged Khan to provide evidence that tradespeople will take fewer sick days because of the ULEZ expansion, “especially as builders will be picking up the tab”.

What the Evidence Says

According to an analysis in the Lancet Public Health, low emission zones (LEZs) like ULEZ have been linked to measurable health improvements, including significant reductions in heart attacks, strokes and blood pressure problems.

However, studies focusing on breathing and lung issues showed mixed results. Experts say more time and research is needed to fully gauge the potential long-term benefits.

Tradespeople are a vital part of London’s workforce. As the debate continues, it’s clear that a balance must be found between improving air quality and supporting trades crucial to the city’s infrastructure and economy. The true impact of ULEZ expansion remains to be seen.

Tradesman Talk

Do you believe that the ULEZ expansion will result in fewer sick days for tradespeople? Will the improved air quality be worth the financial impact for businesses with ‘non-compliant’ vehicles?

As always, leave your thoughts in the comments, and remember to share this post on your social media.

Until next time, make sure it’s Tradesman Saver.

Stephanie Lowndes

Stephanie is a Digital Marketing Masters Graduate with extensive Customer Service experience gained in the retail and hospitality sectors. Stephanie is currently a Senior Marketing Executive at Tradesman Saver.

All articles by Stephanie Lowndes

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7 Comments

Ulez. IM a decorator of 32 years standing in London. I just left, moved away, had enough. Can”t park, 20 mile an hour speed limits everywhere, long journey times beginning and end of day, congestion, closing of rat runs, pedestrianisation and general manners on the roads, aggression, being a motorist being hit on the head at every turn. Had enough. So i’ve gone. Starting again somewhere new, where there is not the attitude of governance in London. Stress has declined massively. Quality of life has already increased. Going to work is a joy again. Ulez, congestion charge, anti-driving militia, wild west electric bike use, scooters, rudeness, lol, i don’t have any of it anymore and it’s lovely.

Reply to Squawpaint

Thank you for sharing your experience, running a business can be tricky and stressful in London, you’re not alone in your frustration! We’re glad to hear you’re enjoying going to work again and not having to pay the ULEZ charge.

Reply to Stephanie Lowndes

Squawpiant you’re absolutely right on every count il done the same thing 18 years ago and it was bad enough then so god knows what it’s like now. ulez is the final straw and is nothing more more than a tax on the working glass and honest people.so much for Labour being a party for the working glass. I sad for years that cars will soon only be for the rich a will be a luxury. I’ve been a builder all my life and car fumes would be the last of my worries when I think about the working environments I’ve work in with dirt, dust and chemicals I have no breathing problems whatsoever. people will probably say I’m a lucky one but I believe you are going to get these illnesses or not no matter what you do.

Reply to Tom

It’s hard to hear the challenges piling up for hardworking tradespeople like yourself Tom, especially with the added burden of the ULEZ for those operating in these zones. Your view on cars becoming a luxury rather than a necessity is interesting, and hopefully this doesn’t become the case, as a lot of tradespeople would inevitably be out of work.

Reply to Stephanie Lowndes

Well said Tom! But the attitude is let’s make the working class poorer and justify it by the lame excuse that your friendly builder will have less days off work. What utter baloney!

Reply to Mark Norris

I stand with the blade runners .

The mayor of London does not work for us he works for the world economic forum.
A trailer to the people

Reply to :Ian

Oh dear, perhaps the evidence isn’t in on breathing and lung issues, Kahn should have checked: meanwhile, the reductions in Strokes, Heart attacks and blood pressure issues will have to do.
Of course there’s also the £7000-£9500 grant to replace your 10+ year old van with something newer and more efficient, but to honest, at London rates £12.50 off a day’s income in exchange for a reduced risk of heart attack, stroke etc. and the knowledge you aren’t damaging children’s health doesn’t seem too bad.

Reply to SamB
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