Home Business NewsBusinessAutomotive News Further support for Ukraine with Mayor’s new plan to send vehicles

Further support for Ukraine with Mayor’s new plan to send vehicles

by LLB political Reporter
23rd Feb 24 9:11 am

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, today announced he has asked TfL to amend the ULEZ scrappage scheme to support humanitarian and medical needs in Ukraine.

Sadiq has been keen to set up this scheme for several months. After lobbying the Government, the Transport Secretary, Mark Harper MP confirmed at the end of January that the Government does not consider there to be any legal barrier to allowing non-compliant vehicles to be donated to Ukraine and to still receive the same level of grant payment. Since then, the Mayor has worked quickly to set up a viable scheme with partner organisations.

Under the landmark proposals, applicants to the scheme will have the option of donating vehicles from London that are not compliant with the Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) standards in return for the same level of grant payment that is available to those who choose to scrap or retrofit their vehicle.

Ukraine’s infrastructure has been significantly damaged in the conflict and access to health care in many areas has been severely impacted. Donating a range of different vehicles will provide humanitarian and logistical assistance to Ukraine.

Rather than being scrapped, the donated vehicles will be permanently transferred to Ukraine authorities and their partners for humanitarian and medical needs.

Transport for London (TfL) has confirmed registered charity British-Ukrainian Aid (BUA) as a trusted intermediary to roll out the expansion to the scheme.

Under the plans, BUA will facilitate the donation of suitable vehicles to Ukraine, provide the relevant documentation for people to receive their scrappage grant, transfer the vehicles to Ukraine and report on the number of vehicles donated in this way.

The Mayor’s Office and TfL have engaged extensively with the Ukrainian Embassy to understand which charities and organisations have worked with them so far on similar initiatives. BUA works directly with organisations on the ground in Ukraine and has procured and delivered over 300 medical and evacuation vehicles during 2023 to where they are most needed.

Vehicles will be permanently removed from the UK following their donation to Ukraine, with BUA providing evidence of this to TfL.

Subject to a formal Mayoral decision to expand the scrappage scheme, and TfL confirming updated rules and processes, it is hoped the scheme could launch weeks from now.

The Mayor has been clear that he stands in support of Ukraine as Russia’s illegal invasion continues, and is determined to help in any way he can, including the significant number of Ukrainians who have sought refuge in London.

The Deputy Mayor for Environment and Energy previously wrote to the Chief Executives of the London Fire Brigade, the Metropolitan Police and the London Ambulance Service to encourage them to review whether any vehicles scheduled to be decommissioned would be suitable for donation.

The LFB has already donated two pumping appliances and first aid and safety equipment through the National Fire Chiefs Council.

The London Ambulance Service (LAS) is planning to join the effort by donating 50 decommissioned ambulances to Ukraine – 10 vehicles in the next few weeks with a further 40 planned to be released by the end of the summer. While LAS currently has agreements in place with TfL meaning ambulances are not charged to drive in the ULEZ, it plans to steadily decommission non-compliant vehicles.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “Two years on from Russia’s devastating illegal invasion of Ukraine, I continue to do all I can to help those affected, including supporting Ukrainians seeking help in London and signposting where Londoners can make donations.

“Alongside the human toll of the conflict, there has been a significant impact on Ukraine’s infrastructure, and these plans to donate non-compliant vehicles will help meet medical and humanitarian needs while also helping to remove old, polluting vehicles from London’s roads.

“The scrappage scheme is open to all Londoners with an eligible non-ULEZ compliant vehicle and is playing a key part in my mission to clean up our city’s toxic air.”

Chargé d’affaires of Ukraine in the UK, Eduard Fesko: “The ULEZ program is gradually expanding, providing a healthier and happier environment for London residents and visitors. Ukraine is also aiming for similar reforms, whether in Kyiv or other cities, where comprehensive reconstruction will be required after the end of the barbaric Russian aggression.

“There is a unique opportunity to give a second life to vehicles by donating them to Ukraine, which can help save human lives. This initiative can benefit Ukraine and London greatly, and the Embassy of Ukraine in the United Kingdom is proud to support this initiative and encourages all charity organisations and volunteer groups to join this effort.”

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