ULEZ judicial review welcomed by County leader


Surrey County Council and four outer London Boroughs have been successful in obtaining a Judicial Review on some aspects of the expansion of the Ultra Low Emission Zone by the Mayor of London.

Only two of the five grounds for challenge were upheld .

Consultation on the zone expansion was not one of them.

But “failure to consider the potential for inclusion of non-Londoners in the new £110m scrappage scheme” will be one of the points to be judicially reviewed.

All this looks to create some ongoing uncertainty through July ahead of the ULEZ expansion date 29 August.

BBC London’s Tim Donovan summary below:

Statement: Court grants permission for ULEZ Judicial Review  

Cllr Tim Oliver, Leader of Surrey County Council, said: “This is good news and I’m pleased that our challenge to the Mayor of London regarding ULEZ is proceeding. The impact on Surrey’s residents and businesses has been ignored by the Mayor and it’s frankly disgraceful that it’s taken legal proceedings to have our voices heard.

“Our consultation response in July 2022 clearly highlighted that the Mayor’s decision failing to include Surrey residents in any scrappage scheme was unacceptable, and proposed a number of other recommendations to help mitigate both the financial and potential environmental impacts of the expansion. Our concerns have not been addressed by The Mayor.

“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 Judicial Review.”

The first bottleneck with regard to ‘legal procedures’ is how the mayor wants to expand Ulez by varying the existing regulation.

This was done under Schedule 23 of the Greater London Authority Act 1999, which allows the creation of ‘charge schedules’.

However, the councils indicated that this could change such a scheme, the proposed changes are so significant that it amounts to an entirely new scheme.

The second point relates to the proposed £110 million scrappage scheme, which provides for financial support to help eligible Londoners scrap their most polluting vehicles in preparation for the Ulez expansion.

The councils claimed that details of the arrangement will only become available after his decision to expand Ulez and were not subject to prior consultation.

They add that there was no consultation on the decision to offer the scheme only to those living in London.

Speaking before today’s news, the Fetcham Lib Dems issued comments by Cllr Raj Haque “I have to use suppliers, markets, and wholesalers inside the Zone, and now I’ve had to change how I do this because my usual vehicle is too old. So I’m against the timing of the ULEZ expansion, and the way the Ultra Low Emissions Zone is being implemented.

Like most people, I appreciate the need for cleaner air, but why do it right in the middle of a huge cost of living crisis, and why aren’t we eligible for the scrappage scheme?

In Fetcham we have many self-employed tradespeople and other commuters, who have all been caught in a political fight between Labour and the Conservative Government. The cost of replacing vehicles, combined with rocketing inflation, huge energy bills, and rising interest rates will be too much for a huge number of people. Some may have to give up their jobs, and others might lose their businesses. That would be extremely damaging to our local economy.

Why should Fetcham and the rest of Mole Valley be treated differently to other regions? Around the country, the Conservative Government has provided over £800 million for scrappage schemes as part of clean air zone initiatives, but it would not offer funding for London’s ULEZ expansion because it is being implemented by Labour’s Sadiq Khan.

I agreed with Liberal Democrat Leader, Ed Davey when he said, “It is time someone stood up for the self-employed people, businesses, nurses, and teachers, across the commuter belt who must drive into London frequently. They’ve been left high and dry by both the Government and London’s Mayor.”

Low emissions are essential, but this scheme is too much for many hard-working people. It needs re-thinking and proper funding.”