Landmark High Court victory for London Mayor over ULEZ expansion

Following a High Court on Friday 28 July, London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) expansion on 29th August will go ahead as planned.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan welcomed the judgment, which will bring approximately five million more Londoners into the zone.

London’s ULEZ was introduced in 2019 to reduce the number of the most polluting vehicles entering the centre of the capital.

The boundaries of the original ULEZ were expanded on 25 October 2021 to include all areas within the North and South Circular Roads, but not the North and South Circular themselves.

Drivers not meetings the correct emission standards for their vehicle will need to pay a daily £12.50 charge. Not doing this will result in a fine.

According to Khan’s office, nine in ten cars on London’s roads are already compliant.

A statement from his office read: “The judge found that the legal basis on which the Mayor made the decision to expand the ULEZ was sound, and in line with previous decisions on the ULEZ and the Congestion Charge, and that the ULEZ could legally apply to all roads within the expanded zone.”

Following the victory at the High Court, Khan said: "The decision to expand the ULEZ was very difficult and not something I took lightly, and I continue to do everything possible to address any concerns Londoners may have.

"The ULEZ has already reduced toxic nitrogen dioxide air pollution by nearly half in central London and a fifth in inner London. The coming expansion will see five million more Londoners being able to breathe cleaner air.

“I've been listening to Londoners throughout the ULEZ rollout, which is why from next week I am expanding the scrappage scheme to nearly a million families who receive child benefit and all small businesses with up to fifty employees. I will continue to look at new ideas to support Londoners.”

RAC head of roads policy Nicholas Lyes said: “Following today’s ruling, we encourage the Mayor and the Government to get around the table and take a more strategic and unified approach to introducing the new zone.

“Everybody wants cleaner air, but the scale of the challenge of getting many more people into ULEZ-compliant vehicles cannot be underestimated.

“A Freedom of Information request we made to the DVLA showed there could be up to 700,000 cars in the Greater London area that don’t conform to ULEZ standards, and this figure does not include those drivers from outside the capital who use their vehicles to commute into the Greater London area.

“While the principle of cleaning up London’s air is the right one, it has come at a time where drivers can ill afford to replace their vehicles during a cost-of-living crisis.

“This is being made by worse by new evidence which shows drivers are having to pay far more than they should have to purchase a compliant vehicle on the second-hand car market.

“We’d very much like to see additional support given to certain keyworkers, both inside the capital and in neighbouring counties, who depend on their vehicles to help them switch to cleaner ones as affordably as possible.”

What do you make of the ULEZ expansion? Is it’s a necessary step to tackle air pollution in the capital? If you live outside London, does it put you off travelling to the city? Leave your comments below.

Brilliant breakdown + serious savings

Brilliant breakdown + serious savings

Breakdown cover from just £7.95 a month*. Plus up to £150 of driving savings!

Brilliant breakdown + serious savings

^For 1 nominated vehicle when added to Extra or Complete cover. New customers only. Ends 08/12/23. *New, single vehicle-based cover. £7.95 a month for Basic cover.