Said Khan’s intention to expand London’s ultra low emission zone (Ulez) is set to receive a legal challenge by five Conservative led councils as a judge at the Hight Court will hear their bid for a judicial review.
The London boroughs of Bexley, Bromley, Harrow and Hillingdon along with Surrey County Council in February all launched legal action over Khan’s proposed extension of Ulez.
Judge Sir Ross Cranston said in a written decision on Wednesday that a one day hearing will be held in early July and the Mayor will “to robustly defend his life-saving decision to expand the Ulez.”
Nick Rogers AM, City Hall Conservatives transport spokesperson, said: “The High Court has now ruled there is sufficient evidence that Sadiq Khan’s Ulez decision may have been unlawful.
“The mayor clearly does not have the legal grounds to proceed with his Ulez tax plans, which take money from charities, small businesses and low-income Londoners who cannot afford a new car.
“Sadiq Khan should do the right thing, immediately stop work on his Ulez expansion and explain his actions to the court.”
A spokesperson for the mayor said, “The mayor is pleased to see the court has refused permission for the majority of the grounds.
“We will continue to robustly defend his life-saving decision to expand the Ulez and continue with preparations without delay.
“It is a shame that some local authorities have chosen to attempt this costly and misguided legal challenge instead of focusing on the health of those they represent.
“Around 4,000 Londoners die prematurely every year due to 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.”
Baroness O’Neill of Bexley, leader of Bexley Council, said on Wednesday that the Ulez expansion proposal was “never about air quality and we believe it would have disastrous consequences for many of our residents and businesses, as well as others who regularly travel into the borough”.
“We hope that today’s decision moves us a step closer to stopping the Mayor’s money-making scheme,” she added.
Bromley Council’s leader, Colin Smith, said there was “still time for the Mayor to pull back and take a more considered approach” to benefit those “threatened by the horrendous daily cost of his proposed tax”.
Paul Osborn, leader of Harrow Council, said: “We have always had concerns about the impact Ulez will have on our residents and businesses who are already struggling with the rising costs of living – it’s simply unfair.”