Anti-Ulez protesters receive major boost as councils win court victory in battle against Sadiq Khan’s hated £12-a-day plan ahead of massive demo today
- Demonstrators will meet up outside London Bridge station at 12 Noon
- Phil Elliot of UK Unites said there will be further anti-ulez protests this summer
Four London councils and a fifth in the Home Counties have secured a victory in their campaign against London Mayor Sadiq Khan‘s decision to expand the Ulez zone to the M25 in August.
The London boroughs of Bexley, Bromley, Harrow and Hillingdon as well as Surrey County Council are seeking to block the planned expansion. The coalition appealed an earlier High Court decision to block several grounds of their case against the Mayor’s controversial policy.
This lunchtime, thousands of anti-Ulez campaigners will meet outside London Bridge station in opposition to the plan, which has been described as part of the war on motorists.
There is growing anger about the plan with several of the newly-installed cameras which will enforce the proposed expansion have been attacked by self-styled vigilantes opposed to the scheme.
From August 29, petrol cars which do not reach the Euro IV standard or diesels which are not Euro VI compliant will be subject to a £12.50-a-day charge – unless they are deemed classic vehicles.
However, supercars spewing out up to 380g of CO2 per kilometre will be welcomed into the low pollution zone.
Phil Elliott of UK Unites, who is organising today’s demonstration said there is growing anger in the population as they realise the impact the expanded Ulez scheme will have on their daily lives.
He said in future, other policies such as road pricing – where motorists pay for each mile they drive – as authorities seek to find new revenue to make up for the road tax lost by electric cars.
Ahead the demonstration, Mr Elliott said: ‘The reality is that this is an awareness day. There were be placards and leaflets. People are not aware of what is coming. It is becoming more difficult to use cars, they want to stop us from driving.
‘This will kill businesses and make peoples’ lives far more difficult. Not everyone can afford compliant cars as there is a cost of living crisis. Compliant cars have shot up in price while the value of those that are not have plummeted. Many of the people I speak to are losing sleep and suffering from stress.
‘I would far prefer to be driving in my campervan with my partner enjoying life. But if we do not act now and stand up against this plan, the damage will be done. And it’s not just London. Councils across Britain have similar plans.’
Mr Elliott said the plan is being touted as an environmental measure to protect public safety, but in reality it is designed to extract more tax from motorists.
He said he welcomed yesterday’s High Court success, but thinks the only way to stop the expansion is for ordinary people ‘to stand up’ and make themselves heard.
The councils are seeking to challenge legality of Transport for London and the mayor’s policy, including whether they failed to comply with ‘relevant statutory requirements’.
Leader of Bromley Council Councillor Colin Smith said: ‘We are obviously delighted at the High Court’s latest decision, which has given further scope to the legal challenge we are mounting as it enables a broader range of legal questions to be posed.
‘We are already witnessing widespread upset and uncertainty locally over the prospect of the Mayor’s threatened tax against motorists going ahead, due to the damage it will cause to local businesses, jobs and local care networks and anything which assists us in turning this outrageous money making scam away is clearly to be welcomed.
‘Outer ‘London’ isn’t the same as Inner London and never will be and every day which passes demonstrates ever more clearly that City Hall simply doesn’t understand how those of us in the Outer reaches need to live our lives due to the inferior transport networks and physically longer distances which people need to travel.
‘Whilst the legal questions will be examined in Court, there is still time for the Mayor to draw back from expanding his unwelcome plans to extend his camera network to the outer London border ahead of the Court case on July 4 and I once again call on him to do so for the wider good.
‘If not, we travel on to “Independence Day” bolstered by todays decision in even greater hope than previously.’