Sadiq Khan has told the Conservative councils that their High Court challenge is a “waste of taxpayers money” but of course they “are free to do so.”
The Mayor of London suggested that Londoners would prefer to see the money being “used on libraries.”
The RAC has carried out research which shows that almost “700,000 London car drivers are facing a Ulez fee” and will be charged £12.50 a day to drive in the capital.
RAC head of roads policy Nicholas Lyes said, “Cleaning up London’s air should undoubtedly be a priority, but 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 through having to fork out £12.50 every day they drive in the zone.”
Currently the Ulez expansion is set go ahead on 29 August which will force drivers and businesses in outer London to pay a daily fee of £12.50 if their vehicles do not meet the current required emissions.
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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.”
Speaking on Friday about the legal action, Khan said, “I think it’s important for these Conservative councillors who’ve got concerns… if they want to challenge this in the courts (they) are free to do so – I think it’s a waste of taxpayers’ money. Local residents would rather these be used on the libraries.”
He added, “I welcome the fact that the vast majority of their grounds have been thrown out of the court. The two minor grounds will be heard by the court in a couple of months and TfL will be robustly defending this case.
“I want to see improved air in all parts of London, for those five million Londoners in outer London who are currently breathing air that is leading to children with stunted lungs, adults with a whole host of health issues from asthma to cancer, dementia to heart disease.
“And also, for the 10 boroughs with the biggest number of premature deaths caused by air pollution in outer London, I want to clean up our air sooner, rather than later.
“So, for me human rights, rather than privilege.”
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.”
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