London Mayor Sadiq Khan’s plans to extend the capital’s ultra-low emissions zone (ULEZ) to cover all 32 boroughs has been ruled lawful by the High Court.
Five Conservative-led councils had brought a challenge against Mr Khan’s expansion which will charge non-compliant vehicles from August 29 in outer London for the first time.
Mr Justice Swift dismissed the legal challenge, writing: “While the consultation conducted was not in-depth, it was lawful.”
Mr Khan said: “This landmark decision is good news as it means we can proceed with cleaning up the air in outer London.”
READ MORE: Sadiq Khan wins High Court battle to roll out ULEZ expansion
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The five local authorities, Hillingdon, Bexley, Bromley and Harrow and Surrey County Council, brought the challenge on four different grounds. Leader of Surrey County Council, Tim Oliver said: “Whilst we respect today’s court decision, it is incredibly disappointing.”
There is concern about the policy impacting the poorest households amid the cost of living crisis with those driving older petrol and diesel vehicles facing daily £12.50 charges.
Conservative mayoral candidate Susan Hall said: “While it is a shame the High Court did not find the ULEZ expansion to be unlawful, there is no denying that Sadiq Khan’s plans will have a devastating impact on families and businesses across the city.
“If I am elected mayor, I will stop the ULEZ expansion on day one and set up a £50million pollution hotspots fund to tackle the issue where it is, instead of taxing people where it isn’t.”
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Head of roads policy at the RAC Nicholas Lyes said: “While the principle of cleaning up London’s air is the right one, it has come at a time where drivers can ill afford to replace their vehicles during a cost-of-living crisis.
“This is being made by worse by new evidence which shows drivers are having to pay far more than they should have to purchase a compliant vehicle on the second-hand car market.”
So what do YOU think? Should London’s ULEZ scheme still be scrapped? Vote in our poll and join the debate in the comment section below.
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