TODAY we're reviving our Love Local Business campaign in support of traders and residents hit by the ULEZ expansion charge.

London mayor Sadiq Khan's controversial scheme and refusal to allow the vehicle scrappage incentive outside of London is a kick in the teeth for hard-working people.

Many Watford residents rely on their vehicles to travel in and out of London for work, support vulnerable residents or pleasure.

But from August 29 you will need to pay £12.50 to enter the Greater London Authority boundary if you do not have a compliant vehicle - expanding from an area within London's North and South-Circular roads.

So what's the answer? Stay local, shop local, work local and build your business base outside of the Ultra Low Emission Zone.

During the Covid pandemic and as business began to reopen after lockdowns, the Watford Observer supported local businesses through the Love Local Business campaign - and we're doing it all again.

Editor Michael Adkins said: "Watford is uniquely placed for businesses and sole traders. It's a prime location within Hertfordshire and allows easy access to London by road or rail.

"But, no doubt, the ULEZ expansion to outer London boroughs will hit traders and business owners who regularly drive, or send their colleagues, into the capital for work.

"There will be others who need to visit loved ones and cannot afford the daily charge or to buy a new car.

"That's why I'm supporting calls for residents to Love Local Business and support traders in Watford and, in turn, for firms and sole traders to build up their customer base within Hertfordshire.

"London does offer fantastic business opportunities - and a great day out if you're looking from entertainment.

"But why not look closer to home. ULEZ, hikes in fuel prices and the cost-of-living means travelling by car to London is no longer viable for many people."

The Watford Observer is not alone calling for readers to love local.

Watford elected mayor Peter Taylor wrote about it in his column this month. And in December last year he wrote to Sadiq Khan to share residents concerns about the plan. Dean Russell MP for Watford also criticised the expansion.

Advertising director Vicky Wright said: "We want to help local businesses within the M25 and on the peripheral.

"With the extra cost now with the impending ULEZ charges we want to drive footfall and awareness of the local businesses within our areas."  

If you're negatively affected by the ULEZ expansion or need support for your business email