The Leader of The London Borough of Harrow, Cllr Paul Osborn, has expressed his concerns over the proposed expansion of the Ultra Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ) by the Mayor of London, as the Judicial Review regarding the matter concluded in the High Court this week.
In a message published through the Council’s weekly MyHarrow newsletter, Cllr Osborn highlighted the grounds for the legal action and his belief in the strength of their case, regardless of the ruling.
“We brought this action in partnership with four other councils on grounds including that the public have not been properly consulted and alternative solutions not fully considered,” Cllr Osborn stated in the message, noted the importance of public involvement in decision-making processes.
“These arguments have now been heard by the judge and we’re expecting his ruling shortly,” Cllr Osborn revealed, conveying his optimism about the council’s position. “I believe we’ve made a very strong case, and I am very happy, whatever the outcome, that we have done this on behalf of the people of Harrow.”
Cllr Osborn further addressed the concerns of some Harrow residents regarding the financial implications of the ULEZ expansion. He acknowledged that the daily charge of £12.50 could burden hard-working families, stating, “Many of you are concerned about the financial implications of ULEZ, and I share those concerns.
“A daily charge of £12.50 is a burden many hard-working families cannot bear. We feel that not enough has been done to consider their circumstances or the support they’ll need to live with this scheme.”
During media interviews, including appearances on Radio 4’s Today programme and BBC Breakfast TV, Cllr Osborn reiterated his stance on the ULEZ expansion. “As I said in those interviews, no one can deny that air quality is a serious issue, but we believe that ULEZ expansion as proposed is the wrong solution, especially when other options, including investment in less polluting buses, haven’t been fully explored,” he stressed.
Furthermore, Cllr Osborn highlighted the council’s view that Transport for London’s own modelling indicated that the ULEZ expansion would have, at most, a minor beneficial impact on air pollution. He expressed his eagerness to keep the residents of Harrow informed about the High Court’s ruling, promising, “I look forward to keeping you updated about the High Court’s ruling.”
In closing, Cllr Osborn took the opportunity to pay tribute to the National Health Service (NHS) as it celebrated its 75th anniversary.
“This remarkable institution is much-loved and rightfully cherished, and many of us have had positive life-changing experiences of its services,” he expressed, extending his gratitude to the dedicated NHS staff for their incredible hard work and contribution to society.