London ULEZ: High Court decision over injunction ‘imminent’ as Sadiq Khan slams ‘costly and misguided’ challenge

Five councils are fighting the mayor’s plan to expand the zone’s boundary in August.

A decision from the High Court over whether the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, and his team followed the correct processes before announcing the expansion of the ultra low emission zone (ULEZ) to all London boroughs on August 29 is reportedly ‘imminent’. Mr Khan has hit back at critics advocating a delay to or the outright scrapping of his plan after five of the capital’s councils officially launched a legal challenge in February against his proposal.

The boroughs of Bexley, Bromley, Harrow and Hillingdon and Surrey County Council lodged a judicial review with the UK’s highest court to challenge the expansion on five grounds.
The coalition claims TfL failed to comply with statutory requirements or consider compliance rates in outer London.

Further, it is claimed there was no cost benefit analysis carried out, there was “inadequate consultation”, and the proposed £110m scrappage scheme which is designed to support businesses, charities, Londoners on lower incomes and disabled Londoners to replace their old, heavily polluting vehicles with greener options, was not consulted on.Conservative Assembly Member for South West London, Nick Rogers, said in a tweeted video on Friday (March 31): “Sadiq Khan might have to stand trial this summer. In 2022 Sadiq Khan decided to expand the ultra low emission zone to the whole of Greater London, imposing a £12.50 daily charge on the poorest Londoners who drive older vehicles.

“This will devastate businesses, it will put many Londoners into debt as they’re forced to buy new cars, and some charities are at risk of going under. But when in 2022 did Sadiq Khan make his decision?

“The answer to that question will decide whether or not the ULEZ expansion goes ahead in August, or whether the mayor is forced to delay. And it’s a question that the High Court is assessing right now, and is expected to make a decision on imminently.”

Mr Rogers went on to suggest that Mr Khan had not followed the public consultation process properly – which includes giving the public adequate time and an accessible means to consider proposals and TfL providing evidence that their feedback had been taken into account – before announcing the expansion of the ULEZ, and that he and his deputy, Seb Dance, has made “false” and “dishonest” statements regarding the process to the London Assembly.

Mr Khan should cease the planned enlargement of the zone, Mr Rogers said, and put the decision to voters during the next mayoral election campaign in May, 2024. But Sadiq Khan has now hit back, his office telling MyLondon that he will continue to defend his decision.

A spokesperson for the Mayor of London told said: “We will continue to defend the Mayor’s decision robustly. It is a shame that some local authorities have chosen to attempt this costly and misguided legal challenge instead of focusing on the health of those they represent.

“Around 4,000 Londoners die prematurely every year due to air pollution. This is a health emergency and the Mayor is not prepared to stand by and do nothing while Londoners are growing up with stunted lungs and are more at risk of heart disease, cancer and dementia due to our toxic air.”TfL has also said that it will fight the High Court’s judgement if it finds against the mayor. A spokesperson said: “The Mayor has been clear that with around 4,000 Londoners a year dying prematurely from toxic air, his decision to expand the ULEZ should be implemented without delay. We are aware of the claim and will defend it if it is given permission to proceed.”

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