A judge in the High Court has rejected a challenge to the expansion of the ULEZ to all of London by Sadiq Khan on the 29August, which will cost many Londoners £12.50 per day (and more in future no doubt as such taxes are always rapidly raised after implementation).
The judge’s judgement on the Hillingdon claim representing 5 councils is available here: https://www.bailii.org/cgi-bin/format.cgi?doc=/ew/cases/EWHC/Admin/2023/1972.html . As usual with judicial reviews the decision was made based on his views on the legal merits of the claim, not on any moral grounds. But reading the judgement carefully leaves some doubts as to whether it is sound or not. I will not go into details why I say this because that is best left to lawyers but I certainly think a challenge to the Appeal Court would be worthwhile.
It is certainly very worthwhile to continue the fight to oppose this unjust tax which is not justified by evidence on air pollution in London. There are three ways it can be challenged now: 1) by appealing the legal decision; 2) by persuading the Government to change the law; 3) by voting Khan out of office next May. In the last case you need to vote for Howard Cox (Reform Party) or Susan Hall (Conservative Party).
Councillor Colin Smith, Leader of Bromley Council, said: “Today’s decision cannot be disguised as anything other than bitter disappointment for motorists in general, traders who will now have to consider ceasing business and laying off staff, those who will now have to change jobs and, most desperately of all, people who will no longer be able to support vital care networks for vulnerable people across the whole of outer London in particular. “To all of them as well as the legion of families who will now have to trade in perfectly good cars at significant cost they can’t really afford, for a newer vehicle they don’t want or need, I can only say sorry. We’ve tried our very hardest to protect you but ultimately, today’s judgement does mean that the Mayor has taken another step closer to getting his way.”
He added: “However, do please be assured that this is not the end of the matter and this battle will continue. To draw a positive from this setback, we have been extremely successful in bringing the Mayor’s intentions both around ULEZ, as well as Road Price Charging which is set to follow, to every front page and living room across the country in recent weeks, and what has become increasingly clear, is that the more that people see and learn of it, the less they like it. “We will take that energy and build on it over coming weeks and it may well be that we will now need to turn to Parliament for a solution immediately upon their return from their Summer Recess at the beginning of September.”
Roger Lawson Twitter: https://twitter.com/Drivers_London
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