Surrey County Council spent almost £150k on a failed court challenge to the ULEZ expansion

A sign indicating a motorist is approaching the Ultra Low Emission Zone Credit: PA

Surrey County Council spent nearly £150,000 of taxpayers money challenging the expansion of the Ultra Low Emission Zone.

The authority, together with the London boroughs of Bexley, Bromley, Harrow and Hillingdon launched a legal challenge to the expansion of the zone, taking it to the High Court earlier this year.

TfL ultimately won the court battle, which saw the zone expand up to the borders of the county.

The authority's total costs for the challenge came to £139,528.20 a spokesperson for the council confirmed.

This figure includes a £100,000 contribution to TfL costs and a £39,528.20 contribution to the five councils' total costs.

Map showing the previous ULEZ zone and the expanded area Credit: PA/TfL

Entering the zone in a non-compliant car, usually petrol cars registered before 2005 and diesel cars registered before September 2015, costs drivers £12.50 per day.

The ruling in July determined there was no legal impediment to the expansion, which came in to force in August.

Speaking at the time of the High Court's decision, the county council's leader, Councillor Tim Oliver, said it was incredibly disappointing.

He added: "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."

A TfL spokesperson said: "Following the conclusion of the judicial review, the court ordered the claimants to pay our legal costs and to pay £280,000 on account, which has been received. We will be seeking the remainder of our costs in accordance with the order".

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