A Sutton heating engineer claims he could be pushed into early retirement if he is forced to pay a £12.50 daily charge to drive his van to and from jobs.

Ray Martin drives a 2014 Ford Transit van which he says is in “mint condition” and “exceptionally clean” when it comes to emissions.

He paid £20,000 for the van new and claims despite the low emissions recorded on his MOT the diesel vehicle is not compliant with the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ).

The zone is set to be expanded to cover the whole of London this August.

Mr Martin said: “I like to consider myself semi-retired but this is going to force me into giving it up full stop.

"I don’t charge customers for travel and I cover a huge area because I am a specialist in a particular area.

“I could always pass the cost onto the customer but that would not be fair. I am not skimping, I don’t mind paying for things but it has to be justified.

"We all want clean air but this is clearly a money-making scheme, my van can’t get cleaner it is virtually zero on emissions.

“Personally I think it should be based on your yearly MOT and whether you can prove your vehicle is clean.

"I don’t want to go out and buy another £25,000 van when I know I am going to be using it less than I was.

“I think it is ridiculous it is going to affect an awful lot of people. They are fleecing some people just to make money for Transport for London.”

The charging zone is set to be expanded on August 29  and motorists using non-compliant vehicles will have to pay a fee every day they drive.

The Mayor of London announced the expansion in March 2022 where he said it would help to protect Londoners and the economy from the damaging impact of air pollution and carbon emissions.

Sutton Council has called on the Mayor of London to delay the ULEZ rollout. It claims that 30per cent of drivers in the borough who do not have compliant cars would not have enough time to switch to compliant cars.

In January, council leader Ruth Dombey also called for “significant investment” in local public transport.

She added: “It’s important the Mayor understands the strength of feeling of people living and working in our borough have against the scheme as it stands and that is why I am also calling on residents to share their view by emailing the Mayor.

“Together I believe we can delay the scheme; get a fairer scrappage scheme and finally get the fair share of public transport our borough so desperately needs.”

Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “The triple challenges of tackling toxic air pollution, the climate emergency and congestion mean we need to further reduce emissions from vehicles in London.

"We simply don’t have time to waste.

“We have too often seen measures delayed around the world because it’s viewed as being too hard or politically inconvenient, but I’m not willing to put off action we have the ability to implement here in London.”