The leader of Bexley Council has expressed “extreme disappointment” and concern for the impact on residents and businesses following the High Court ruling to allow the ULEZ expansion to go ahead.

Today (July 28) a High Court judge confirmed that the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) expansion in London will go ahead on August 29.

Since London’s Mayor Sadiq Khan made the announcement in November last year to expand the ULEZ to all London zones, five boroughs including Bexley, Bromley, Harrow and Hillingdon opposed the plans, taking legal action against the expansion.

However, in a ruling from a judge at the High Court, the expansion is set to go ahead, after determining that there was no legal impediment to the ULEZ expansion.

The ULEZ expansion will mean that residents in Bexley will be required to pay a daily fee of £12.50 if driving a non-compliant vehicle.

In a statement, Cllr Baroness O’Neill of Bexley OBE, Leader of the London Borough of Bexley, described feeling “disappointed” by the High Court’s decision, and expressed concern for the impact the ULEZ expansion would have on businesses and residents.

Cllr Baroness O’Neill of Bexley OBE, Leader of the London Borough of Bexley, said: “I’m extremely disappointed at the outcome of the judicial review and the impact it will have on our residents and businesses.

“They have told us time and time again how worried they were about ULEZ which was why we took this action on their behalf. “The judge may have said that the Mayor has the legal right to implement the scheme but, as we saw last week, there is also a moral judgement to consider.”

Cllr Baroness O’Neil added that the effect of the ULEZ expansion would be “devastating” for outer London, particularly Bexley due to the borough's lack of transport links.

He explained: “Even senior supporters of the Mayor have voiced their concerns around the expansion of this scheme. “The fact that the Mayor of London has got his way and that his ULEZ expansion plan is to go ahead is devastating for the whole of outer London.

“This is especially true for Bexley because of our lack of transport links. “I’m sure that jobs and businesses will also feel the effect as less out of borough residents will want to come to work or shop in Bexley because of this new charge.

“I know from speaking to carers who have to travel in and out of the borough to visit family members on a regular basis that they will be one of the groups who will suffer most.

“I’d like to thank the coalition members for all the hard work they have put into this battle – I know they are as saddened today as I am.

“I now call on the Mayor to do the right thing by outer London and delay the implementation.”

In a statement, City Hall Conservative spokesperson Keith Prince AM said that whilst there was “insufficient evidence” that the ULEZ expansion is unlawful, there was evidence that the policy would have an impact on the poorest people living in London.

Keith Prince AM, City Hall Conservatives transport spokesperson, said: "While there was insufficient evidence the ULEZ expansion is unlawful, the evidence is clear that the policy will hit the poorest hardest, while having only a negligible effect on air quality.

“Sadiq Khan cannot ignore the overwhelming opposition of both Londoners and his own party forever.

“We will continue campaigning to get the ULEZ expansion scrapped, so we can tackle air pollution where it is instead of taxing where it isn't."

In response to the ruling, the Conservative Party’s London mayor candidate Susan Hall said: "While it is a shame the High Court did not find the ULEZ expansion to be unlawful, there is no denying that Sadiq Khan's plans will have a devastating impact on families and businesses across the city.

“If I am elected Mayor, I will stop the ULEZ expansion on day one and set up a £50m pollution hotspots fund to tackle the issue where it is, instead of taxing people where it isn't."

In a tweet, Sadiq Khan welcomed the news of the High Court’s decision and added that the decision to expand ULEZ was a difficult one.

Khan also added that in response to the concerns of Londoners he would be expanding the scrappage scheme to families in receipt of child benefit and all small businesses with up to fifty employees from next week.

The full tweet from Sadiq Khan said: “This landmark decision is good news as it means we can proceed with cleaning up the air in outer London on 29 August.

“The decision to expand the ULEZ was very difficult and not something I took lightly and I continue to do everything possible to address any concerns Londoners may have.

“The ULEZ has already reduced toxic nitrogen dioxide air pollution by nearly half in central London and a fifth in inner London.

“The coming expansion will see five million more Londoners being able to breathe cleaner air.

“I've been listening to Londoners throughout the ULEZ rollout, which is why from next week I am expanding the scrappage scheme to nearly a million families who receive child benefit and all small businesses with up to fifty employees will continue to look at new ideas to support Londoners.”

“Nine out of 10 cars seen driving in outer London on an average day are already compliant so won't pay a penny - yet will still see the benefits of cleaner air.

“Air pollution is an urgent public health crisis - our children are growing up with stunted lungs and it is linked to a host of serious conditions, from heart disease to cancer and dementia.

“This unambiguous decision today in the High Court allows us to press on with the difficult but vital task of cleaning up London's air and tackling the climate crisis.”