In a significant development for Harrow, the High Court has announced the inclusion of further grounds for a challenge in the Judicial Review filed by a coalition of councils against the proposed expansion of the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ).
The decision marks a victory for the coalition, which comprises the London boroughs of Bexley, Bromley, Hillingdon, and Harrow, along with Surrey County Council.
During today’s hearing, the coalition successfully appealed to have two additional grounds for challenge, previously denied in April, added to the ongoing Judicial Review. The newly accepted grounds are centred around the issues of unfair and unlawful consultation regarding expected compliance rates in outer London, as well as the scrappage scheme’s irrationality due to uncertainty and inadequate consultation.
The High Court had initially granted permission on April 12 for the coalition to legally contest the plans of Transport for London (TfL) and the Mayor of London to extend the ULEZ to outer London starting August 2023. The granted permission at that time was based on the following grounds: failure to comply with relevant statutory requirements and whether the Mayor adequately considered the previous “buffer zone” approach as a material consideration regarding the scrappage scheme.
Cllr Paul Osborn, Leader of Harrow Council said: “This is another positive step in our legal challenge against the expansion of the unpopular ULEZ scheme which will significantly impact the lives of our residents and businesses. This is a step in the right direction, so I am pleased to hear that the court has ruled that additional grounds can be considered in our legal challenge against the Mayor’s decision to expand the ULEZ to outer London.
“The Mayor and his team will have to answer difficult questions about his own scheme.
“We will continue to stand up for our residents and will not back down in our proceedings against ULEZ as we look towards the main court hearing in July.”
Councillor Ian Edwards, Leader of Hillingdon Council, expressed his satisfaction with today’s outcome, saying, “Today’s result is another step forward for the coalition and outer-London. These grounds are key to understanding the harm the ULEZ expansion will have on our residents.
“The Mayor estimated that only one in 10 of vehicles in outer London would be non-compliant but this is proving to be widely inaccurate. The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders data shows that one in six cars registered in outer London did not meet Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) standards last year, and yesterday a new study by TfL found that half the vans registered in outer London are not compliant.
“As each day passes the harm that the expansion of ULEZ will cause is becoming clearer and the sheer number of vehicles that don’t meet ULEZ emissions standards in Greater London suggests there will be a massive financial impact on motorists and businesses as well as enormous social harm.
“We believe that we’ve assembled a valid and robust case to put before the court and have every confidence that the inappropriateness and harm of these expansion proposals will be given the scrutiny, exposure, and ultimately, the expulsion they deserve.”