A leading climate activist has criticized the London Mayor's Ultra Low Emission Zone (Ulez) scheme for hitting low-paid workers.

The Ulez is due to expand from the north and south circular zones to the whole of Greater London on August 29.

Motorists whose cars do not meet certain emissions standards will have to pay £12.50-a-day to drive in Greater London.

Roger Hallam, the founder of protest group Extinction Rebellion, took to social media to express his discontent with what he described as the "urban middle-class neo-liberal Left" who support the Ulez expansion.

He argued that Sadiq Khan's scheme angers those who work hard to provide essential services in London and whose jobs mean they have to drive.

Mr Hallam also noted that critics of the Ulez expansion also want to tackle climate change and pollution but feel that supporters lack sensitivity and self-awareness.

His remarks came shortly before several vehicles had their tyres punctured at an anti-ULEZ protest in Bromley, leading to police intervention.

Mr Hallam was reacting to an article in The Guardian by Professor Devi Sridhar, in which she argued for the Ulez and low-traffic neighborhoods as life-saving measures.


He said: "Let's be totally clear here, the most lives would be saved by taxing the richest 1 per cent (like the city traders and lawyers who fund and facilitate 15 per cent of global emissions), and subjecting them to carbon rationing.

"This tax could easily fund the change over to non-polluting vehicles without people being out of pocket. 

"But of course nothing is said about that in the article - and nothing will be said by @MayorofLondon about it either."

Ham & High: London Mayor Sadiq KhanLondon Mayor Sadiq Khan (Image: PA Wire/Press Association Images)

Roger added: "Those who suffer the regressive, intrusive policies of #ULEZ want to sort climate and pollution as much as anyone else. 

"And that would become clear in 5 minutes if they were allowed a voice, and thus felt like they were being listened to. 

"The urban middle-class neo-liberal Left don't understand this and that's why they are hated - for their hypocrisy, their arrogance.'

Shortly after his comments, protesters at an anti-ULEZ convoy in Bromley had their tyres punctured, with at least 15 tires reportedly affected.

After the Ulez expansion was blamed for Labour's narrow loss in the Uxbridge by-election, the Mayor announced an extension to the scrappage scheme, with grants of up to £2,000 available to all Londoners with a non-compliant car or motorcycle and increased payments for businesses and charities.