Ben Bradley, Member of Parliament for Mansfield, has launched a petition to stop an Ultra-Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ) being established in Nottingham City. He warns that similar driving charges could be implemented in Labour-led towns across Nottinghamshire, including in Mansfield.
Mr. Bradley set up the petition in response to the Labour Leader of Nottingham City Council claiming that he would readily consider Nottingham City ULEZ charges.
The Labour leader was speaking at a full meeting of the council on Monday (November 13) where Nottingham Independents member, Councillor Kirsty Jones, asked him to "rule out any further zoning in the city centre or the city's neighbourhoods”.
This follows on from the Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, Angela Rayner, having previously said in a Sky News interview that clean air charges are “coming to towns and cities across the whole of the United Kingdom”.
Last week, after Nottingham City Council announced they would be effectively declaring bankruptcy, Mr. Bradley, who is also the leader of Nottinghamshire County Council, said that “given Nottingham City Council’s dire financial situation, it seems more and more likely that they'll look to grab that cash back from residents in the form of new charges.”
A Nottingham City ULEZ zone could have wider implications for the East Midlands as a whole with the election of the first mayor for the region taking place in May 2024. The mayor will have access to a £1.5 billion transport fund and new powers over transport amongst other things like economic development, housing, and education.
Mr Bradley, who is the Conservative candidate for the role, has been clear that if Nottingham City Council were successful in implementing ULEZ, it wouldn’t be long before a Labour East Midlands mayor would expand this to the wider region. He says this would “decimate” the region’s economic growth and undo the opportunities created as a result of the East Midlands devolution deal.
Ben has long emphasised that the new East Midlands mayor should use these new powers and billions in additional funding to empower people, giving them more freedom to choose, and establish an innovative joined up public transport network, making getting around towns and cities quicker, easier, and cheaper.
In launching the petition, Mr. Bradley explains that a scheme like ULEZ would be disastrous if emulated in towns like Mansfield, making it too expensive for people to own a car and limiting people’s freedom.
He urges people to “sign our petition today and send a clear message that we do not want to see Labour's ULEZ schemes in our region”.
Commenting, Ben Bradley MP states:
“A few weeks ago the Labour Leader of Nottingham City Council said that he would readily consider Nottingham ULEZ charges, following on from Labour's Deputy Leader Angela Rayner having said recently that these Clean Air charges are 'coming to towns and cities all across the UK'.
“Given the City Council's dire financial situation, it seems more and more likely that they'll look to grab that cash back from residents in the form of new charges. It's simply not right to roll out these kinds of new taxes, which disproportionately hit the poorest and tax you just for going to work.
“There are wider implications too, for places like Mansfield and beyond. If Labour introduce a Clean Air Zone in the city, it paves the way for a Labour Mayor to expand and roll it out to our towns just as Angela Rayner said. A Nottingham ULEZ would be hugely damaging for an already struggling city economy, and my word a Mansfield one would decimate our town.
“We can't let Labour destroy our city and town centres, and we can't let Labour whack further charges on people just for going about their business. Sign our petition today and send a clear message that we do not want to see Labour's ULEZ schemes in Nottingham or in Mansfield.”