Sadiq Khan warns rebel boroughs against challenging ULEZ expansion
Sadiq Khan has warned a number of rebel boroughs against challenging the London-wide expansion of the Ultra Low Emission Zone, or ULEZ, saying their case was “wholly without merit and misconceived.”
Four Conservative boroughs sent a pre-action letter to Transport for London (TfL) on 13 January, challenging Khan’s decision to expand the ULEZ to Greater London, which is set to go ahead in August.
The traffic charge is intended to help clean up London’s air, City Hall says, and will force vehicles which don’t meet environmental standards to pay a daily £12.50 to enter the area.
But the Mayor sent council leaders in Bexley, Bromley, Harrow and Hillingdon a letter last night, asking them to ditch their potential lawsuit.
“Instead of pursuing an expensive legal challenge funded by local residents, I would hope
you would work with me to help clean up the dirty air that’s blighting our city and the
lives of those we represent,” Khan said.
“I expect any legal challenge will be unsuccessful,” he added.
City Hall insists the ULEZ expansion is not a money-making venture, as has been alleged, and is focused on saving Londoners’ lives from toxic air pollution.
Nick Rogers, transport spokesperson for the City Hall Conservatives, hit back, claiming Khan’s words were “an act of desperation from an under-pressure Mayor”.
“Sadiq Khan knows he has lost the argument over ULEZ, which is why he is now trying to force the policy through, against the wishes of boroughs and an overwhelming majority of Londoners,” Rogers added.
Harrow’s council leader Paul Osborn said on Friday that it wasn’t the right time to expand the low-emission zone, as many people were already struggling amid the cost of living crisis.
“I’m very wary of it, in particular when inflation is at 10 per cent, when energy bills are going up, fuel bills are going up,” he told the BBC.
The four boroughs were approached for comment.