Londoners split on ULEZ expansion

Matthew SmithHead of Data Journalism
August 30, 2023, 10:11 AM GMT+0

Those opposed to the expansion support vandalism of ULEZ cameras

ULEZ has been a hot political topic in the UK in recent weeks, having been held responsible for Labour’s failure to win Boris Johnson’s former Uxbridge seat during a by-election in late July.

The result triggered infighting between Labour leader Keir Starmer and London’s Labour mayor Sadiq Khan. But what do Londoners think of ULEZ expansion?

Now a new YouGov survey for ITV, conducted on 9-14 August, finds that Londoners are divided, with 47% supporting the expansion of ULEZ to cover all London boroughs, while 42% are opposed.

There is a clear divide in opinion between inner and outer London, with the former supportive by 62% to 26%, and the latter opposed by 51% to 38%. This is unsurprising for several reasons, not least because ULEZ already covered much of inner London, so the change makes little difference to most people living there. Likewise, people living in inner London are much less likely to own cars than their outer London counterparts.

With the capital on the cusp of the expansion when the survey was conducted, half of residents (50%) said that the mayor should be doing more to provide support to those with non-compliant vehicles. Only 26% felt that Sadiq Khan was doing everything he could. Even among Labour voters in the city, around half (47%) thought the mayor wasn’t doing enough, although an increased rate of 35% thought he was doing as much as was possible.

Prior to the survey, there were news reports that ULEZ cameras were being damaged in protest of the expansion – something which has continued in the weeks since. One in three Londoners (37%) had heard a great deal or fair amount about the vandalism, but Londoners opposed these actions by 51% to 32%.

That being said, among those who oppose the ULEZ expansion, there was actually a tendency to support the lawbreaking, at a rate of 51% to 36%.