Bromley Labour statement following High Court decision on ULEZ challenge

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Following yesterday’s High Court decision to refuse permission by Bromley and four other Councils to proceed with the majority of the grounds for their judicial review of Mayor of London’s planned expansion of the Ultra-Low Emissions Zone, Bromley Labour are calling on the Council to drop their expensive, politically motivated legal challenge and work constructively with the Mayor of London to improve the scheme before it is rolled out in August.

Group Leader Cllr Simon Jeal said “Bromley’s Portfolio Holder for Transport said this legal challenge was good value for money “whether they win or lose”. The case might be proceeding to judicial review, but the reality of today’s High Court decision is that the Conservatives’ legal options to contest ULEZ have decidedly narrowed, leaving it on even shakier ground. 

It is now even clearer they are bringing this weak case for petty partisan purposes. While Conservative Councillors offensively label the ULEZ a ‘New Berlin Wall’ and waste taxpayers’ money on lawyers’ fees for this meritless challenge, our Labour Group have engaged constructively with City Hall and the Deputy Mayor to improve the scheme and proposed improvements to exemptions for groups of our residents who are going to be disproportionately impacted including carers, disabled drivers, low-income households and small businesses.

“We support the Mayor’s objective of reducing air pollution and reducing the harm being caused to Bromley residents dying prematurely every year- but we also believe during the current Tory cost of living crisis, small businesses and families on low incomes should not being losing out for doing the right thing. 

Instead of wasting residents’ money on a case it is increasingly clear they will lose, Bromley and other Conservative Councils should be lobbying the Government to provide financial support (as the Government has given to Councils in other parts of the country) to increase the scrappage scheme above the £110 million the Mayor of London has provided and working with him to roll out active travel and public transport expansion across Bromley and other Outer London boroughs.”