Businesses are fleeing London and relocating across the UK in order to escape the capital’s ultra-low emission zone (ULEZ), according to ELB Partners.

The family-run Croydon haulier said four of its customers had moved out of London since the ULEZ was expanded at the end of August and they were citing the ever-rising costs of operating in the city as reasons for leaving.

MD Peter Eason said the expansion that saw it double in size was “fraught with controversy” and its impact was now beginning to trickle down.

“We’re seeing businesses leaving London and relocating all over the country due to the impact of the ULEZ on their bottom line,” Eason said.

“It is really damaging for our industry, too. For ELB it has a minimal impact, because we have invested heavily in a modern fleet and our vehicles meet the emissions standards dictated to us.

“However, what it does mean is drivers on lower incomes who use older but perfectly-roadworthy vehicles are being punished. The poorer you are, the harder you are affected.

“Drivers in this situation can’t afford to clock up daily charges of £12.50 just to go about their work. It’s unsustainable.”

In October, the Office of the Mayor of London said the ULEZ had been highly effective at reducing the number of older, more polluting vans after just four weeks of the expansion being rolled out.

The compliance rate for vehicles had risen to 95.3%, up from 91.6% in June 2023 and 39% in February 2017, when changes associated with the ULEZ began.

Its report was released shortly after a scaffolding haulier said he was crowdfunding to assemble a legal team and prove that the ULEZ was unlawful.

Source: ELB Partners