ULEZ expansion

London's ULEZ expansion faces court challenge

Nick Rogers says "sufficient evidence that Sadiq Khan’s ULEZ decision may have been unlawful"

A planned expansion of the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) is facing a high court challenge by five London councils. Four London borough councils — Bexley, Bromley, Harrow and Hillingdon — along with Surrey County Council, have been granted permission to challenge the planned expansion. 

They claim that London Mayor Sadiq Khan failed to meet the statutory requirements and has not consulted on a scrappage scheme worth £110m designed to help drivers switch to newer and compliant cars. 

Small business owners and local residents have expressed concerns regarding the financial impact of expanding the ULEZ, which would see pre-2015 diesel cars and pre-2006 petrol cars that aren’t Euro 4 compliant charged £12.50 per day.

Transport for London has estimated that this would affect “only a small number of vehicles”; it claims that fewer than six per cent of vehicles entering the zone are non-compliant. When the expansion was announced the Mayor’s Office said it estimated that 160,000 cars per day would be non-compliant, and the scheme would mean that falls to 46,000.

Fewer cars, more buses 

One of the concerns of locals is the lack of sufficient public transport alternatives in the affected areas. Khan has outlined an increase in bus services, including a ‘Superloop’ express service to connect the outer London boroughs. 

A spokesperson for Khan said: “The mayor is pleased to see the court has refused permission for the majority of the grounds. We will continue to robustly defend his life-saving decision to expand the ULEZ and continue with preparations without delay.

“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. This is a health emergency and the mayor is not prepared to stand by and do nothing.”

The principal purpose of the ULEZ is to reduce air pollution by discouraging drivers of older and more polluting vehicles from entering certain areas of London due to high charges. Plans to expand the ULEZ area were announced in August 2022, leading to this latest challenge. 

“The high court has now ruled there is sufficient evidence that Sadiq Khan’s ULEZ decision may have been unlawful,” said Nick Rogers, transport spokesperson for London assembly Conservatives.

“Sadiq Khan should do the right thing, immediately stop work on his ULEZ expansion, and explain his actions to the court.”

Related articles

Latest articles