Thousands of Londoners have handed in their old cars over the past year due to the eco-zone being expanded to include the entire city at the end of August. Anyone driving a car over the age of 17, or eight years in the case of a diesel, must now pay a fee equivalent to 14 euros per day for driving in the suburbs of London. The tax is already in place downtown. This led to a lot of anger, expressed not only in protests, but also in the disruption of hundreds of cameras used to enforce the new rules.
To ease the financial hardship, Khan introduced a barter bonus that could initially only be used by retirees, minimum wage earners, charities and small business owners. Whoever returned a car received the equivalent of 2,300 euros as compensation for purchasing a new car. In an attempt to calm public anger, its scope was extended to include all Londoners.
A relatively large portion of vehicles in circulation consists of SUVs, pickup trucks, and minivans. The intention was to get rid of the old vehicles, but the swap initiative caught the attention of Vitali Klitschko, the mayor of Kiev. After all, the Ukrainian army needs powerful transport on the front, for example to transport the wounded.
Klitschko wrote in a letter to his colleague in London that transporting these vehicles to his country could save lives. There is already a British volunteer organisation, Car for Ukraine, which provides this type of support to Ukraine.
The fees have already collected 6 million
Klitschko’s hopes turned out to be in vain. He received a letter from Khan last week in which he stated that sending cars and small trucks to Ukraine was against the rules. Trade project as stated in The Daily TelegraphThe leaked letter ultimately aims to help Londoners from an “economic, social and environmental perspective.” Transporting vehicles to Ukraine will not meet this requirement.
Khan has been criticized for his decision by his opponent in the upcoming municipal elections, among others. Conservative MP Susan Hall described the mayor’s position as “ridiculous.” She believes Londoners who hand in their cars should be able to decide for themselves whether they want to send them to Ukraine.
It is not known exactly how many cars were returned. By June, 7,000 applications had been received. However, there seem to be a lot of Londoners who have remained loyal to their old car. It was recently announced that toll collection generated €6.1 million in the first week.
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