ULEZ Expansion To Outer London Ruled Legal By High Court

Sadiq Khan's clean air scheme has caused a rift with Keir Starmer after it was blamed for Labour's by-election loss in Uxbridge.
Jordan Pettitt - PA Images via Getty Images

Sadiq Khan’s plan to expand the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) to London’s outer boroughs has been given the green light by the High Court.

The scheme is due to be extended beyond central-London to the entire city on August 29.

Five Conservative councils had launched a legal bid in attempt to block it, but the court ruled against them on Friday.

In areas covered by ULEZ, drivers are charged £12.50 per day for cars that do not meet emissions standards.

Khan said: “This unambiguous decision today in the High Court allows us to press on with the difficult but vital task of cleaning up London’s air and tackling the climate crisis.”

But it has caused a deep split in Labour, with Keir Starmer urging Khan to “reflect” on the policy in the wake of last week’s Uxbridge by-election.

Opposition to the looming introduction of the measure has been blamed by many in Labour for its narrow failure to capture the seat from the Conservatives.

Rachel Reeves, the shadow chancellor, told The Sun: “With the cost of living, it doesn’t feel like the right time to clobber people with extra charges.”

And as HuffPost UK reported, Labour’s defeated candidate in Uxbridge, Danny Beales, said the policy had “cut us off at the knees” and handed the seat to the Tories. “ULEZ is bad policy. It must be rethought,” he said.

But Khan has said he intends to press ahead as it is necessary to help clean up the capital’s air and protect people’s health. The mayor has said air pollution causes 4,000 premature deaths in London.

The Conservatives campaigned hard against ULEZ and many in the party want to capitalise on the victory, urging Rishi Sunak to retreat even further from environmental policies in an attempt to win votes.

A Savanta poll published this morning showed Labour is on 47%, 19-points ahead of the Conservatives who are on 28%.


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