Proposed expansion of the Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ)

Response to Mayor of London on proposed expansion of the Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ)

This page outlines Surrey County Council's formal response and subsequent legal challenge to the Mayor of London and Transport for London (TfL) over the proposed expansion of the Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ), to include all of London up to the administrative boundary with Surrey and its boroughs and districts.

Latest update - October 2023

Surrey residents and visitors in non ULEZ compliant vehicles are being charged without signage warning.

The issue of provision of appropriate warning signage for the ULEZ scheme is one for TfL. The county's position is that the signs are not permitted to be erected within Surrey.

Surrey with a number of local authorities applied to judicially review the scheme. It was argued that the scrappage scheme should be extended to residents outside the GLA boundary. The judicial review application was dismissed on all grounds and the scheme was found to be lawful.

Matt Furniss, Cabinet Member for Transport, Infrastructure and Growth at Surrey County Council said: "I am incredibly disappointed that expansion of the Ultra Low Emission Zone has gone ahead today and the impact this will have on many of our residents as they go about everyday, essential journeys.

"Surrey County Council has informed TfL that we will not enter into a Section 8 agreement which is needed for them to place signage and cameras on our highway, whilst there isn't any mitigation in place to minimise the impact of the expansion on Surrey residents.

"Whilst the extended scrappage scheme looks to be a step in the right direction, this will have no impact on those outside of London. This means that people living in Surrey will not only have to pay the ULEZ charge, but also pay all costs to scrap their own car as the scrappage scheme only applies to people living inside London. Combined with the recent decision to withdraw the day travelcard, it is now increasingly difficult for those outside of London to travel in and out at a fair price.

"We continue to urge The Mayor and TfL to do what is right and extend the scrappage scheme outside of London for those that are impacted, provide exemption for key workers, and provide more and better bus routes between Surrey and London".

ULEZ Challenge denied

High Court denies coalition's ULEZ expansion challenge

The coalition of councils challenging ULEZ expansion is hugely disappointed that the High Court has today (Friday 28 July) determined that there is no legal impediment to the Mayor's expansion of ULEZ to outer London but accepts its decision.

Although the Mayor of London and TfL may have the legal right to implement the scheme, the question remains whether the public would agree he has the moral right to do so, given it was only last week that the court of public opinion delivered a different verdict with the surprise by-election win in Uxbridge, an election that was seen as a referendum on the expansion of ULEZ.

It is evident that the Mayor of London and TfL do not realise the damage the extension will have to the lives of residents and businesses in outer London as well as those outside of its borders.

The expansion of ULEZ is now expected to go ahead as planned on Tuesday 29 August, with anyone driving a non-compliant vehicle in the expanded zone expected to pay £12.50 per day.

Cllr Tim Oliver, Leader of Surrey County Council said: "Whilst we respect today's court decision, it is incredibly disappointing.

"This has always been about protecting Surrey residents, many of whom will now be significantly socially and financially impacted by the Mayor's decision as they go about essential, everyday journeys, without any mitigation in place to minimise this.

"Our concerns, which have never been addressed by The Mayor despite our continued efforts, forced these legal proceedings to ensure we did all we possibly could to have the voice of our residents heard.

"We met with Transport for London on 14 July 2023 in the hope of agreeing mitigation for Surrey residents. Sadly, nothing was offered."

Formal response to ULEZ consultation

The Cabinet Member for Transport, Infrastructure and Growth Matt Furniss provided a written response to the ULEZ consultation on the 29 July 2022. Whilst supporting the scheme in principle to improve air quality we set out 10 points of concerns about the proposed expansion, these were:

  1. More data/assessment should be provided on the impacts to Surrey and its residents.
  2. The car scrappage scheme must be extended to Surrey residents.
  3. The proposal to extend Zone 6 Oyster Card scheme.
  4. The need to consider corridors to NHS facilities that are on the border, and consideration to residents that extensively use health facilities within London.
  5. Additional and/or extended active travel and public transport services must be included in addition to the scrappage scheme to provide suitable alternatives for Surrey residents and not used to offset shortfall in existing TfL funding.
  6. Taxi exemption should be extended out to local Surrey taxi services.
  7. Key worker exemption should be put in place for those who regularly travel over the border, such as nurses, carers, and teachers.
  8. Consideration is needed for schools on the border that have pupils coming from both London and Surrey.
  9. There is a need for clear signage and publicity around the proposed changes.
  10. There is a need to provide additional information on the implementation programme, including when the council will be informed of responses to representations included in this response, as well as a need to set out opportunities for further engagement to discuss mitigation measures, including campaigns and communications to Surrey residents on when the ULEZ is operational.

The cabinet member followed this formal consultation response with a letter to Transport for London on 31 January 2023. This letter stated that the council had given Transport for London our views on their proposals back in July, but since then Transport for London had announced plans to expand ULEZ London-wide, and that it had done so whilst singularly failing to recognise any of our views and concerns, particularly the requested mitigation for residents and businesses in Surrey. The letter requested that Transport for London urgently consider our views and commence meaningful discussion on mitigation for our businesses and residents.

Legal challenge

The county council is now part of a coalition of five councils that collectively have launched a judicial review to challenge Transport for London (TfL) and the Mayor of London's decision to expand the ULEZ to outer London boroughs and up to the county boundary. The county council together with the London boroughs of Bexley, Bromley, Harrow and Hillingdon have commenced legal action following TfL's announcement in November 2022 that it would push on with proposals to expand ULEZ from August 2023. This is despite strong opposition from across outer London and beyond, including concerns over how it is being delivered.

Our challenge is being made on five grounds:

  • Failure to comply with relevant statutory requirements.
  • Unlawful failure to consider expected compliance rates in outer London.
  • The proposed scrappage scheme was not consulted upon.
  • Failure to carry out any cost benefit analysis.
  • Inadequate consultation and/or apparent predetermination arising from the conduct of the consultation.

The county council is committed to delivering a greener future. However, there has been a lack of discussion and consideration given to these proposals by the Mayor of London. Indeed, to date our requests for due consideration to be given to mitigation have not been acknowledged, let alone acted upon. This is why the county council has resorted to legal proceedings.

Further updates on progress will be provided here on this page.

Latest update - 26 May 2023

On the 26 May 2023, the High Court has announced it will allow further grounds for challenge as part of a Judicial Review by a coalition of councils into the proposed expansion of the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ).

At the hearing, the coalition comprising the London boroughs of Bexley, Bromley, Hillingdon and Harrow, along with Surrey County Council was successful in its appeal, getting two additional grounds for challenge - out of three previously refused in April - added to the Judicial Review.

Those were:

  • Unfair and unlawful consultation in relation to expected compliance rates in outer London
  • Scrappage scheme - irrationality due to uncertainty and inadequate consultation.

On 12 April 2023 the High Court granted permission for the coalition to challenge the legality of Transport for London (TfL) and the Mayor of London's plans to expand the ULEZ to outer London from August 2023.

The permission then was granted on the following grounds:

  • Failure to comply with relevant statutory requirements
  • Whether the Mayor properly considered the previous "buffer zone" approach as a material consideration in relation to the scrappage scheme

Update - 12 April 2023

Statement: Court grants permission for ULEZ Judicial Review

The High Court announced on 12 April that it has granted permission for a Judicial Review into the proposed expansion of the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) London-wide from August 2023.

Permission has been granted on the grounds:

  • Failure to comply with relevant statutory requirements
  • Whether the Mayor properly considered the previous "buffer zone" approach as a material consideration in relation to the scrappage scheme

The hearing of the claim is likely to be listed in the week commencing Monday 3 July or shortly thereafter.

Cllr Tim Oliver, Leader of Surrey County Council, said: "This is good news and I'm pleased that our challenge to the Mayor of London regarding ULEZ is proceeding. The impact on Surrey's residents and businesses has been ignored by the Mayor and it's frankly disgraceful that it's taken legal proceedings to have our voices heard.

"Our consultation response in July 2022 clearly highlighted that the Mayor's decision failing to include Surrey residents in any scrappage scheme was unacceptable, and proposed a number of other recommendations to help mitigate both the financial and potential environmental impacts of the expansion. Our concerns have not been addressed by The Mayor.

"We remain committed to delivering a greener future, but it must be done in a practical and sustainable way. We will now await the findings of the Judicial Review."

How to get involved with our response to the proposed ULEZ expansion

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Please sign up for email alerts to be kept informed about the proposed ULEZ Expansion Scheme.

If you would like to receive updates or be notified on the outcomes of the legal challenge or progress on discussions on securing mitigation measures that is related to the Mayor of London's proposed (ULEZ) scheme expansion.

Contact us

Alternatively, if the information you need is not contained on this page you can email us at: if you have any questions or comments related to what the council is doing. Please include 'London ULEZ proposals' in your email subject.

Further information

As the proposed ULEZ expansion is not this council's scheme, any questions, comments or complaints regarding the actual scheme should be directed to the Mayor of London and Transport for London via make an enquiry - Transport for London.

Up to date information about the scheme can be found here ULEZ Expansion 2023 - Transport for London, including how to check if your vehicle is compliant.

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