There has been some controversy recently about the London Mayor's proposed extension of the Ultra Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ) to cover all London boroughs from August.

The extension will also have an impact on neighbouring counties, where some drivers will be coming into the zone

ULEZ imposes a £12.50 a daily charge on vehicles that don't comply with the stipulations.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan deserves great credit for sticking to his principles, when it comes to cleaning up the air we breath.

The capital's air has improved significantly over the past four years, yet London remains one of the most polluted areas in the country.

A quarter of a million children suffer from asthma in London.

Thousands die every year, with more and more serious illnesses, including cancer, Parkinsons and dementia among those link to unclean air. Some 65% of pollution is caused by motor vehicles.

It has to stop, we are poisoning ourselves and our children, with this addiction to motor vehicles

Critics of the extension of ULEZ argue that it hits some of the poorest hardest. At a time of a cost of living crisis, this should not be happening.

There is value in these arguments but the answer is more generous scrappage schemes and better public transport. This can and must be provided.

In the west of Redbridge ULEZ has been operational since last year, the extension will bring the rest of the borough under the cleaner air canopy..

Other developments to extend active travel need to happen quickly. More protected cycle lanes, controlled parking zones, school streets schemes and 20 mph speed limits.

All of these applied across London boroughs will help progress toward the Mayor's target of 80% of travel to be by cycle, foot or public transport by 2041.

The changes required mean substantial alterations in the way people live their lives.

Tokenistic virtue signalling is not what is required now, as the crisis deepens. What is needed is a real modal change in how we all move about and co-exist in a healthy community together.

  • Paul Donovan is a Redbridge Labour councillor for Wanstead village and blogger. See