The Daily Telegraph

We’ll block transport emissions cameras, rebel council pledges

- By Jack Simpson transport correspond­ent

A REBEL south London council has vowed to block the installati­on of cameras used to enforce the unpopular extension of Sadiq Khan’s Ultra Low Emissions Zone (Ulez) charge across London.

The Liberal Democrats, who control the outer-london borough of Sutton, issued a statement on Thursday, promising to fight the mayor’s “unfair” plan and reject Transport for London’s rollout of Ulez cameras across the borough.

A group of four other outer-london boroughs have revealed that they are considerin­g legal action in response to the policy, and have sent a joint letter to the mayor’s office seeking evidence on the lawfulness of his decision.

Sutton Council has said it will change its decision to block the cameras only once the mayor has set up a scrappage scheme for those with non-compliant cars, or a longer period was given for people to change their vehicles. Mr Khan announced last year that he intended to expand Ulez across all 32 London boroughs, with the most polluting vehicles required to pay a daily £12.50 charge to drive in the capital. The mayor’s office has stressed that the extension, which will come into effect in August, ensures that five million Londoners will benefit from cleaner air.

This has led to several councils banding together to demand greater transparen­cy from the mayor. Bromley, Bexley, Hillingdon and Harrow have said that they are now examining the legality of the extension.

In a statement, the leader of Bromley Council said the mayor’s decision “blatantly ignored” the opinions of most Londoners and accused TFL of using “questionab­le, selective and incomplete findings” to justify the action.

Sutton is refusing to sign the official agreement that will green-light the rollout, and has pledged to block funds from going towards any installati­on.

The council said: “We are taking this step to send a strong signal to the mayor that he must start listening to local people. Though the mayor has the right to overrule us, and may attempt to force this unpopular decision on the residents of Sutton, we are clear that would be the wrong thing to do.”

A spokesman for the mayor said that it was not an easy decision to expand ULEZ but a necessary one. He said the mayor was aware of the letter and will respond in due course and will continue to work with all boroughs to help them prepare. The Telegraph has contacted TFL for comment.

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