ULEZ charge will ‘spoil last few years of my life’ says Hampstead pensioner who ‘can’t afford’ to buy new car

PUBLISHED: 17:00 04 September 2018

Pearl Kosky with her car. Picture: Harry Taylor

Pearl Kosky with her car. Picture: Harry Taylor


A blue badge holding Hampstead pensioner with a spinal injury fears says she will be priced out of driving her car when the new ULEZ zone is extended next year.

Pearl Kosky has lived in Studholme Court for 57 years. She has a disabled blue badge, after spinal fusion surgery in 2011. She walks with a stick, and can’t lift heavy items or walk long distances.

A fortnight ago she got a letter from Transport for London (TfL) saying, when the new Ultra Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ) comes into place next year, she will be charged £12.50 for driving her car into central London because its age.

All cars that were built before 2005 will be eligible for the extra charge. Pearl bought her Toyota Yaris in 2000.

The charge comes into force on April 8, and replaces the current T-charge. In three years’ time it will be extended to the North and South Circular roads.

When that happens, Pearl will have to pay £12.50 if she drives her car anywhere at all.

Drivers who have their car registered with the DVLA as “disabled” or “disabled passenger” tax class are eligible for a “sunset period” up to 2025 to change their car, giving them more time to adapt to the changes.

Despite being a blue badge holder, her disability doesn’t qualify her for getting a discount, unlike for the congestion charge because the threshold is higher. To register a car as “disabled”, drivers need to be getting the higher rate of Personal Independence Payment, the Disabled Living Allowance or armed forces related benefits.

Pearl says she can’t afford a new car or the extra charge. “I’m retired and live off my pension and savings. It’s a lot of money.”

Pearl said her car was her pride and joy. “I worked all my life as a secretary to save up and get this car, and now it’s like they’re going to take it away. It would totally isolate me if I didn’t have my car.

“This policy would spoil the last few years of my life.”

The move was revealed earlier this year by London mayor Sadiq Khan. He said the measures were part of a wider crackdown on London’s filthy air.

Paul Cowperthwaite, TfL’s interim director of licensing regulation and charging, said: “We carried out a full consultation on offering specific discounts for blue badge holders and following careful consideration decided people with a disabled tax class vehicle, which have usually been specially modified, will be eligible for a 100 per cent discount until 2025.”

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories


The killers of Camden model Harry Uzoka have been jailed for a combined total of more than 60 years.


High Court judge Sir Ross Cranston, who last week blocked Transport for London’s (TfL) plans to begin building the CS11 cycle superhighway in Swiss Cottage, has denied TfL permission to appeal his judicial review ruling.


Seven months to the day after a single winter night saw two young men stabbed to death, Camden’s youth safety task force – led by Holborn and St Pancras MP Keir Starmer and Cllr Abdul Hai – last night recommended a series of measures to arrest the alarming upwards trend in youth violence in the borough.

Yesterday, 17:30

Letters, contributions and comments sent in from Ham&High readers this week.

There are more than 3,000 homeless families housed by Haringey Council in temporary accommodation in the borough and more than another 1,000 housed outside the borough according to Trust for London.

Yesterday, 15:23

A woman from Temple Fortune turned have-a-go-hero and chased a pair of criminals – causing them to drop a wad of stolen cash – after an elderly woman was robbed at a nearby cashpoint.

Yesterday, 13:15

Haringey Police are appealing for infomration after a 40 year old woman was sexually assaulted on a Muswell Hill Bus.

Yesterday, 12:53

Two rogue swans rapidly regretted the decision to land on the Hampstead Heath ponds when the resident swan family chased them off the water and left them “a bit battered” on a grass verge.


Looking to get your child interested in a sport? Allianz Park, home to rugby union team Saracens, welcomes people of all ages to join their family of supporters and discover how their core values Honesty, Discipline, Humility and Work Rate underpin everything they do off and on the pitch.

As part of a major refurb, the London Marriott Hotel Maida Vale has renamed its three new-look function rooms to reflect the geography and rich history of the area. The largest, perfect for weddings and large meetings, is named after a Hampstead subterranean river, The Westbourne.

Londoners seeking high quality houses for sale within easy commuting distance of the capital are being advised to look north to St Albans’ prestigious Gabriel Square development.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now