ULEZ: Sadiq Khan confirms he has no plan in place if scheme’s court case is lost

The mayor’s data regarding compliant outer London vehicles was also queried in a fiery Question Time exchange.
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Sadiq Khan confirmed he has no alternative plan if his Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) expansion loses an upcoming High Court hearing, as he reiterated he is “not expecting to lose the court case”.

Mr Khan was told his lack of a back-up plan should the High Court review not go in his favour was “extraordinary” by Conservative Assembly Member Susan Hall, as she queried his stance on the forthcoming trial during Mayor’s Question Time on May 18.

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The judicial review was recently granted approval to proceed to trial on two of its five counts, after being launched by five Conservative councils, four in London plus Surrey County Council.

Ms Hall, who has put herself forward as a potential Conservative mayoral candidate ahead of next year’s election, asked Mr Khan whether he had decided how he would proceed if the High Court determined the ULEZ should not expand on August 29.

Mr Khan clarified he had not, adding: “We’re still moving ahead on the basis of the ULEZ being expanded at the end of August.”

Asked by Ms Hall whether that meant he would ignore a negative decision and proceed regardless, Mr Khan said he “always” follows the law, though reiterated he and Transport for London (TfL) are “confident we will win the case. We’ll have to see what the court decides.”

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Ms Hall described the lack of a plan as “extraordinary”, telling Mr Khan: “That confidence might make you look very stupid if they say you’re not to proceed.”

Also during the meeting, Ms Hall questioned the mayor’s figures regarding the number of compliant vehicles within the zone.

Mr Khan has previously said nine in 10 cars in outer London meet his emissions standards, which he told the Assembly comes from data gathered using existing automatic numberplate reading (ANPR) cameras.

However, Ms Hall said new data compiled by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) suggested otherwise, with boroughs such as Harrow and Sutton instead recording 83% of vehicles as compliant, meaning 16,000 are liable for the daily charge.

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“These vehicles almost certainly belong to hard-working Londoners who do not have as much money as some,” she said.

The mayor said he accepted some vehicles will not be compliant, but pointed to £20m of his £110m scrappage scheme being distributed so far, before urging others to check if they qualify.