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County Leader ‘Dismayed’ at Lack of Consultation as Joint ULEZ Legal Challenge Commences

Published on: 19 Feb, 2023
Updated on: 23 Feb, 2023

By Chris Caulfield

local democracy reporter

Surrey County Council has joined forces with four London boroughs to launch a High Court legal challenge against Transport for London and the Mayor of London’s decision to expand the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) to the outer London boroughs. 

The grounds of the challenge, the council said in a statement, were the failure to comply with statutory requirements, unlawful failure to consider expected compliance rates, non-consultation over the proposed scrappage scheme, lack of cost-benefit analysis, and inadequate consultation and apparent predetermination.

The Mayor’s office has said that it has yet to receive any legal documentation from either the court or the councils’ lawyers, despite the public announcement.

Tim Oliver – Leader of Surrey County Council

Cllr Tim Oliver, leader of Surrey County Council, said: “We are committed to delivering a greener future, but it must be done in a practical and sustainable way.

“We are dismayed at the lack of discussion or consideration given to these proposals by the Mayor of London. The impact on many Surrey residents and businesses will be significant and we will not stand by and watch that happen with no mitigations offered from the Mayor.

“To date, our requests for due consideration to be given to these mitigations have not been acknowledged, let alone acted upon. It’s disappointing that we, along with other local authorities, have to resort to legal proceedings to try and bring the Mayor of London to the table, but we have no choice but to do so.”

The other councils are the London boroughs of Bexley, Bromley, Harrow, and Hillingdon. It follows Transport for London’s (TfL)  November 2022 announcement that it would push on with proposals to expand ULEZ scheme in August 2023.

Cllr Will Forster

Cllr Will Forster, leader of the Liberal Democrat opposition group at the council said ULEZ has become a huge concern for many in Surrey and that he was pleased the three Lib Dem-run Councils in London have led the criticism of ULEZ and called for a delay and a wider scrappage scheme.

He said: “Councils can ill afford to go to the courts and challenge this scheme.

“What we need is for the Mayor to listen to London boroughs and local authorities including here in Surrey and give people more time and flexibility to help us make a just and fair transition.”

A spokesperson for the Mayor of London, Labour’s Sadiq Khan, said his office was aware of media speculation over the councils’ application for a Judicial Review but that neither the Greater London Authority nor TfL have been served with their claim and that any challenge to “this vital scheme” would be defended.

They added:  “Around 4,000 Londoners die prematurely every year due to air pollution. The Mayor is determined to protect the lives of Londoners who are growing up with stunted lungs and more at risk of heart disease, cancer and dementia due to our toxic air.

“The Mayor urges the councils involved to abandon this costly and unnecessary legal challenge and instead focus on the health of those they represent.”

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Responses to County Leader ‘Dismayed’ at Lack of Consultation as Joint ULEZ Legal Challenge Commences

  1. Peta Malthouse Reply

    February 23, 2023 at 9:51 pm

    Does the GLC have obtain Surrey CC approval to what occurs in the GLC area. I am disturbed that our precious council tax money will be used to challenge the decision in court

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