The High Court has announced it will allow further grounds for challenge as part of a Judicial Review by a coalition of councils (including Bexley and Bromley) into the proposed expansion of the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ).

Councils involved in the legal challenge believe “relevant statutory requirements” were not complied with, expected compliance rates in outer London were not considered and the proposed scrappage scheme was not consulted on.

They also claimed the overall consultation process was not properly conducted and there was a failure to carry out a cost-benefit analysis of the plan.

At a hearing on May 25, the coalition comprising of the Conservative-led London boroughs of Bexley, Bromley, Hillingdon and Harrow, along with Surrey County Council was successful in its appeal.

The coalition two gained additional grounds for challenging the ULEZ scheme after three grounds were previously refused in April. These newly accepted grounds are:

• Unfair and unlawful consultation in relation to expected compliance rates in outer London

• Scrappage scheme - irrationality due to uncertainty and inadequate consultation.

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On April 12 the High Court granted permission for the coalition to challenge the legality of Transport for London (TfL) and the Mayor of London’s plans to expand the ULEZ to outer London from August 2023.

If it goes ahead, the Ulez expansion will see drivers in outer London pay a £12.50 daily fee from August 29 if their vehicles do not meet required emissions standards.

The permission to challenge then was granted on the following grounds:

• Failure to comply with relevant statutory requirements

• Whether the Mayor properly considered the previous "buffer zone" approach as a material consideration in relation to the scrappage scheme.

Councillor Colin Smith, Leader of Bromley Council said: “We are obviously delighted at the High Court’s latest decision, which has given further scope to the legal challenge we are mounting as it enables a broader range of legal questions to be posed.

"We are already witnessing widespread upset and uncertainty locally over the prospect of the Mayor’s threatened tax against motorists going ahead, due to the damage it will cause to local businesses, jobs and local care networks and anything which assists us in turning this outrageous money making scam away is clearly to be welcomed.

"Outer ‘London’ isn’t the same as Inner London and never will be and every day which passes demonstrates ever more clearly that City Hall simply doesn’t understand how those of us in the Outer reaches need to live our lives due to the inferior transport networks and physically longer distances which people need to travel.

"Whilst the legal questions will be examined in Court, there is still time for the Mayor to draw back from expanding his unwelcome plans to extend his camera network to the outer London border ahead of the Court case on 4th July and I once again call on him to do so for the wider good.

"If not, we travel on to ‘Independence Day’ bolstered by todays decision in even greater hope than previously."

Speaking on previously about the legal action, Mayor Sadiq Khan told PA News Agency: “I think it’s important for these Conservative councillors who’ve got concerns… if they want to challenge this in the courts (they) are free to do so – I think it’s a waste of taxpayers’ money.

“Local residents would rather these be used on the libraries.”

A spokesperson for the Mayor of London said: “The Mayor has been clear that the decision to expand the Ultra Low Emission Zone London-wide was not an easy one. However, around 4000 Londoners a year die prematurely from 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.

“We note the Court’s decision and will continue to robustly defend action to expand the ULEZ while continuing with preparations for expansion at the end of August.”