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Telegraph: London mayor refused Klitschko's request to send scrap cars to Ukraine

by Elsa Court December 16, 2023 1:45 PM 2 min read
Traffic in central London on Aug. 19, 2022. (Vuk Valcic/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
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London Mayor Sadiq Khan rejected a proposal to send cars handed over to the city authorities to Ukraine, since the plan would not benefit Londoners from an "economic, social, and environmental perspective," the Telegraph reported on Dec. 15.

According to the Telegraph, Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko sent a letter in September, requesting Khan send cars that do not meet the British capital's Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) standards to Ukraine, instead of being scrapped.

The ULEZ aims to clear London's air by requiring those driving polluting vehicles in the city to pay a charge of 12.50 pounds ($15.80). London residents can receive up to 2,000 pounds ($2,500) in exchange for scrapping their car if it does not meet ULEZ emissions standards.

Klitschko was interested in the cars set to be scrapped because they were typically heavy vehicles like 4x4s and pick-up trucks, which are in great need on the front line.

In Ukraine, the cars could be used in a "variety of life-saving and transport roles," Klitschko wrote to Khan in September.

In a letter dated Dec. 12, Khan replied that he would not give the proposal the green light as it "did not meet the "legal threshold" that requires the Ulez scrappage scheme to benefit Londoners," the Telegraph said.

"Londoners who choose to scrap their cars should have the freedom to decide for themselves if they want their car sent to support Ukraine," said Susan Hall, the Conservative candidate for mayor of London.

Sources close to Hall told the Telegraph that "if she became mayor she would seek to change the law so that Ukraine could receive the vehicles." The London mayoral election is set to be held in May 2024.

British cars have been donated to Ukraine or bought by volunteers in large numbers as their steering wheels are on the right-hand side, making them unpopular in Europe and cheaper to buy second-hand.

Sky News reported in July 2023 that the right-hand drive had another benefit "because Russian snipers are fooled into shooting at the passenger seat, rather than at the driver" when Ukrainian personnel drive British vehicles near the front lines.

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