A petition launched to stop the extension of the Ultra Low Emission Zone stretching to the North and South Circular roads has more than 40,000 signatures.

The ULEZ has been controversial, in Walthamstow, Leyton and Wanstead, where residents will a part of the new ULEZ extension.

The zone extension could see Chingford residents pay £12.50 to drive to their local hospital, Whipps Cross in Leytonstone, or the other side of the North Circular Road. 

The petition was started nine months ago by John Wyszomierski and has gained support from Londoners who believe this expansion will price them off the roads.

The Mayor of London confirmed this change last year.

It comes into force on April 8 and will initially cover the existing congestion charge zone in central London, operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

From October 25 2021, it will expand to the area bounded by the north and south circular roads.

Vehicles including motorbikes that do not meet the tighter exhaust emissions standards will have to pay £12.50 every day that they are used within the ULEZ, plus the £11.50 congestion charge, if drivers enter the city centre between Monday and Friday, 7am to 6pm.

The petition says: "The extension of the London Ultra Low Emission Zone to the North and South Circular Roads will price working Londoners off the roads.

"It is a stealth tax and nothing to do with air pollution.

"What steps have Transport for London taken to cope with the already struggling bus, tube and train services? Absolutely nothing.

"This is just the start. Mayor Khan plans to extend the ULEZ zone still further up to the M25.

"Even if you live nowhere near London please sign this petition because once this is passed in London it will be coming to your town or city, trust me."

Sadiq Khan is committed to improving the health of Londoners by reducing toxic air that is currently responsible for thousands of premature deaths.

A representative from the Mayor of London office commented on the petition in May saying that the consultation period had closed.

The comment said: "London is currently breaching legal limits for NO2 concentrations and 448 schools in London are in areas exceeding legal air quality levels.

"Thousands of Londoners die early as a result of our polluted air and research we have undertaken shows that every Londoner in the capital lives in an area exceeding World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines for the most dangerous toxic particles known as PM2.5.

"It also shows that 7.9 million Londoners – nearly 95 per cent of the capital’s population – live in areas of London that exceed the guidelines by 50 per cent or more. PM2.5 are small toxic air particles which are widely acknowledged to have the greatest impact on health, with both short and long-term exposure increasing the likelihood of respiratory and cardiovascular disease.

"Therefore, doing nothing is not an option.

"Expanding the ULEZ would lead to approximately 100,000 people no longer living in areas exceeding legal limits. In outer London there would be a 28 per cent reduction in nitrogen oxide road transport emissions, and in inner London there would be around a 31 per cent reduction in nitrogen oxide road transport emissions in 2021.

"These improvements are part of the Mayor’s efforts to provide an affordable, accessible and reliable transport network that encourages and enables people to walk, cycle and use public transport whenever possible."

However, the petition has continued to gain support from Londoners wanting to stop the expansion onto the North and South Circular but also to the M25.