Politicians are calling on the Mayor of London to expand an air pollution control zone to include one of the most polluted roads in the UK.

The proposed ultra low emission zone (ULEZ) will form a protected area in which most vehicles will need to meet exhaust emission standards or pay a daily charge.

Beginning in April 2019, the zone will cover all of central London. Sadiq Khan is currently consulting on whether or not to expand the zone for vans, cars and motorcycles up to the North and South circular roads from October 2021 onwards.

Responding to the consultation, Redbridge Liberal Democrats have called on Mayor Sadiq Khan to include the North Circular/A406. They warn that this part of Redbridge is already considered one of the most polluted places in the UK according to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) - having recorded levels of pollution four times higher than the legal limit.

Liberal Democrats fear that excluding the A406 could lead to more drivers from other boroughs using the road to avoid the ULEZ charge, further increasing traffic and air pollution in Redbridge.

Natalie Darby, Liberal Democrat candidate for South Woodford, said: “We have significant concerns about the proposed boundary of the ULEZ in outer London.

“There is a serious risk that the current proposals will simply shift the pollution problem to outer London boroughs such as Redbridge, and concentrate pollution around the A406. This will expose our homes and schools to even higher levels of toxic pollutants and significantly affect our health and the health of our children.

“If we are serious about cutting pollution in this borough, the ULEZ must encompass the North Circular, and we urge Transport for London to seriously reconsider these zone boundaries.”

But some councillors in Chingford want their area excluded from the zone, saying the charges will “hurt the poorest in our society”.

Conservative councillor for Chingford Green Nick Halebi said: “The feeling from residents is of total outrage. There’s concern right across the board from young to old.

“Even if Chingford is not included in the ULEZ, people will have to pay a surcharge to drive across the A406 to get to Whipps Cross Hospital. It’s ridiculous.

“It will hurt the poor, those on benefits and the vulnerable. It won’t affect the rich people. I would have thought that Sadiq Khan, being a Labour person, would be concerned about the working class.”

Local authorities in the UK are required by law to review air quality in their area regularly and designate air quality management areas if improvements are necessary. Overall responsibility for monitoring and maintaining air quality levels in England falls to the Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Public consultation on the ultra low emission zone expansions ended on 28th February.