Sadiq Khan’s plan to expand the controversial ultra low emission zone (Ulez) across London will go ahead next month, after a supposed 'legal challenge' to halt the scheme failed in the High Court earlier today.
In the court ruling Mr Justice Swift said three claims made by five Conservative-led councils challenging the extension had failed. The London mayor said he intended to press ahead with extending the road charging scheme after the judgment was made.
Despite Khan previously being found guilty of fixing the consultation, making false claims about deaths from Pollution, a legal challenge, and even opposition from his own party, eco-Communist Sadiq Khan appears unstoppable.
Mr Khan’s expansion was being contested on the grounds of the 'lawfulness of the consultation' following discovery that he'd fixed the figures, had prior sight of it before publication. However, none of that mattered to Mr Justice Swift who ruled in favour of Khan's plan. The Court case also raised the question of whether Khan actually has the necessary powers to implement such a scheme.
Giving a summary of his ruling, Mr Justice Swift said: “I am satisfied that the mayor’s decision to expand the Ulez area by amendment of the present road charging scheme, rather than by making an entirely new ... scheme, was within his powers.”
All legal challenges have been dismissed, meaning drivers in outer London will be hit with a £12.50 daily charge from next month if their vehicles do not meet the required emissions standards. This charge will be ON TOP of the CONGESTION CHARGE which remains for central London.
The judge added that, having “carefully considered” the consultation process, he was satisfied that enough information was given for people who wished to respond to provide “informed responses”.
He also said the consultation on the scrappage scheme was “not in depth”, but was “lawful”. The councils - Hillingdon, Bromley, Bexley, Harrow and Surrey County Council - were successful in their application for a judicial review against the planned expansion in April. ‘Landmark decision is good news for Londoners’
Jonathan Swift has previously been involved in other controversial cases, he was the chief justice who ruled against Julian Assange's release, and reportedly one of the Judges the daily mail referred to as 'enemies of the people' after they attempted to block Brexit.
Swift has now gone against the people again, giving Khan the freedom to wage war on the motorist. Khan said “This landmark decision is good news as it means we can proceed with cleaning up the air in outer London on 29 August." “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.”
Predictably, Khan continued his narrative following the green light being given. Saying: “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 50 employees. I will continue to look at new ideas to support Londoners.”