‘Breaks my heart’: New £27.50 car tax charge forces charity to end emergency support

Dogs on the Streets warns of impact of ULEZ expansion

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Dogs on the Street was set up in 2017 by Michelle Clark after realising that many homeless people lacked vet care for their dogs. Now she says the cost of running two of her vehicles in London has made it “almost impossible” to do mobile vet visits.

The charity’s custom-made mobile pet vehicles – which offer free vet care to vulnerable people in London – have to pay £27.50 a day to drive within London’s Congestion Charge zone, when Ultra Low Emissions Charges are included.

The daily charge for the ULEZ zone is £15 for non-compatible vehicles, and a further £12.50 for London’s long running Congestion Charge.

London’s ULEZ was expanded in late October to include most of Greater London in a bid to reduce emissions in the capital.

Charity founder Michelle Clark says costs mean the charity could have to stop its mobile support services after Christmas.

And she worries that homeless and vulnerable people will not get life-saving help if they cannot have their pet picked up for free care by DOTS.

Michelle Clark said: “We could be withdrawing all our services unless we have something to help us.

“I’d usually jump in the vehicle with humanitarian and do a voluntary outreach run. But that would cost me £27.50.

“It actually breaks my heart.

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“That money could vaccinate two dogs and give flea treatment to another. Now we’re losing donations – lots of people cancelling as they’re saying ‘we want to support you, not TfL.

“If we have two vehicles out it’s £50 a day,” she told MyLondon.

Transport for London’s scrappage scheme has now ended, following “enthusiastic uptake”.

She said replacing her specialised Vauxhall Movano to meet ULEZ standard would cost around £40,000.

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