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Sadiq Khan facing furious council revolt in protest over ULEZ signs
August 2, 2023
High Court ruling allows Sadiq Khan to roll out ULEZ expansion
Sadiq Khan is facing a Home Counties revolt after all but one council bordering London refused to install signs for his hated ULEZ ahead of its expansion.
The London Mayor is pushing ahead with plans to extend the zone to cover the whole of the capital from August 29 after winning a High Court challenge.
But six out of seven of the local authorities that immediately border London are refusing to sign a legal agreement with Transport for London (TfL) to allow ULEZ signs to be put up.
Surrey County Council, Kent County Council, Essex County Council, Hertfordshire Council, Buckinghamshire Council and Thurrock Council are all Conservative-led.
The only local authority that has signed the agreement is Slough Borough Council.
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The minority Conservative council blamed the previous Labour-led administration.
Dexter Smith, the Tory council leader, told The Telegraph: “As an administration, we are vehemently opposed to the implementation of the ULEZ scheme, and we will do all we can to support Slough residents through this.”
The rebellion by the six councils means the majority of roads leading into London from neighbouring counties will not have signs warning of the approaching zone.
Drivers of vehicles which do not meet minimum emissions standards are charged a £12.50 daily fee in a bid to boost air quality.
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The expansion is due to go ahead after five Tory-led councils last week lost their High Court challenge against Mr Khan’s plans to increase the zone beyond the North and South Circular roads to include the whole of the city.
The ruling came in the wake of last month’s Uxbridge and South Ruislip parliamentary by-election, where Labour’s failure to win Boris Johnson’s seat was blamed on fury at ULEZ.
Mr Khan has faced intense pressure from within Labour over his decision to plough on with the expansion.
TfL says nine out of 10 cars seen driving in outer London on an average day comply with the ULEZ standards.
But figures obtained by the RAC show more than 690,000 licensed cars in the whole of London are likely to be non-compliant.
This does not take into account other types of vehicles or those which enter London from neighbouring counties.
A spokesman for the London Mayor said: “The High Court ruled against the challenge to Ulez by five councils, rejecting every single one of their grounds.
“The judge found the mayor’s decision to expand the Ulez was legal, the consultation was proper – including the estimate of compliance rates – and the decision to make the scrappage scheme London-only was perfectly legitimate.
“This case will have cost council taxpayers in these five boroughs over £1million.
“TfL would now like to work collaboratively with all councils in and around London to ensure that drivers are fully informed ahead of the expansion and that the right infrastructure and signage is installed to make sure drivers are aware they are about to enter the Ulez or can avoid the zone safely.”