The coalition of councils opposed to expansion of the ULEZ to outer London is optimistic of success on the first day of its legal challenge.
Representatives from the five councils – Bexley, Bromley, Harrow, Hillingdon and Surrey – met on the steps of the High Court in central London on Tuesday 4 July, ahead of the opening day of the Judicial Review the coalition has brought against TfL and the Mayor of London, over planned expansion of the ULEZ to outer London.
The coalition’s case will be argued on three grounds:
- Failure to follow statutory procedure – Schedule 23 Greater London Authority Act 1999
- Unlawful and unfair consultation regarding expected compliance rates in outer London
- Unlawfulness regarding scrappage scheme, including failing to consider a buffer zone, irrationality and inadequate consultation.
Through the new proposals, anyone driving a non-compliant vehicle in the expanded zone after the scheduled start date on Tuesday 29 August, would stand to be charged £12.50 per day – whether the journey is a 30-mile commute, or a short trip for essential groceries.
Matt Furniss, Cabinet Member for Transport, Infrastructure and Growth at Surrey County Council, said: “I’m pleased that our hearing begins today, as we continue to highlight the significant financial and social impacts expansion of the ULEZ scheme would have on many of our residents and businesses.
“However, it is very disappointing that it has had to come to this. Our concerns have never been addressed by The Mayor, forcing these legal proceedings in order to have the voice of our residents heard.
“We remain committed to delivering a greener future, but it must be done in a practical and sustainable way. We will now await the findings of the High Court.”
The hearing is scheduled to last for two days, with a ruling from the judge expected to follow at an unconfirmed date but expected ahead of the courts break for summer on 28 July.