Decision details

Referral from Full Council: Hillingdon Council's Plan of Action against ULEZ

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: Yes

Is subject to call in?: Yes




That the Cabinet:


1.     Welcome and concur with the Council motion adopted on 12 January 2023 opposing the extension of ULEZ to Hillingdon and Outer London;

2.     Note the significant impact Hillingdon residents, visitors and businesses will experience from the extension of the ULEZ to Outer London from 29 August 2023 and calls on the Mayor of London to withdraw the scheme and to improve the public transport across the Borough. 

3.     Note the legal powers available to the Council to implement the appropriate action and communication plan.

4.     Agree to receive an update on the Council’s legal position.

5.     Delegate authority to the Leader of the Council and the Cabinet Member for Corporate Services to oversee the plan and take all necessary decisions to oppose the Mayor of London's decision, including any necessary expenditure to deliver the Plan.

6.     Authorise the Corporate Director of Central Services to formally implement any actions as directed by the Leader of the Council and/or Cabinet Member for Corporate Services.

7.     Agrees to receive reports back on the matter, as and when required, to update the Council and residents.


Reasons for decision


Cabinet received a report regarding the Mayor of London’s expansion of the Ultra Low Emission Zone to Outer London, which had been requested by Full Council on 12 January 2023.


The Cabinet Member for Corporate Services updated Cabinet on the increasing number of local authorities and local Members of Parliament expressing concern. The Cabinet Member welcomed the decision earlier that day by the Council, along with other London local authorities and Surrey County Council to launch a Judicial Review of the Mayor’s decision. The Cabinet Member thanked the Council’s Interim Head of Legal Services for his work in this regard.


It was explained that the report before Cabinet would enable the Council to maximise the powers at its disposal to take action to protect and keep local residents informed and ably stand up to the Mayor of London’s actions. The Cabinet Member believed that the mitigation measures proposed by the Mayor fell very short of being of any benefit to residents and that those with non-compliant cars had contacted the Council giving examples of how their livelihoods would be affected. It was explained that consequences of this were also concerning, particularly for elderly people, who may become more isolated and less independent without a car, thereby relying further on local services. The Cabinet Member considered it an unwarranted tax on the people of Hillingdon.



The Cabinet Member viewed the pollution and air quality narrative communicated by the Mayor of London as misleading, citing the two main pollution measures TfL used in their own report where Hillingdon was performing better than what TfL had considered a risk element, and notwithstanding Heathrow Airport ‘s location in the Borough. It was also noted that TfL’s own submission stated there would be negligible benefits of having such low emissions zones in outer London boroughs such as Hillingdon.


The Cabinet Member closed by explaining how Hillingdon has been at the forefront of tacking air quality for many years, notably through its opposition to the expansion of Heathrow.


The Leader of the Council cited the concerns that had been seen from residents regarding the proposals and that Hillingdon’s air quality was generally of a good standard. The Leader expressed his pride that the Council had come together, along with other local authorities, to challenge the Mayor and thanked the Council’s Interim Head of Legal Services for his work leading this legal action, which would also include looking at the Mayor’s own powers to put up signage and cameras trespassing on the Borough’s land.


Alternative options considered and rejected


Cabinet could have decided to do nothing in response to the Mayor of London’s plan, but considered the Council had a primary duty to represent residents affected.


Relevant Select Committee

Property, Highways and Transport

Expiry date for any scrutiny call-in / date decision can be implemented (if no call-in)

5pm, 24 February 2023

Officer(s) to action

Dan Kennedy


Central Services




The report and any background papers relating to this decision by the Cabinet are available to view on the Council's website or by visiting the Civic Centre, Uxbridge.



Publication date: 17/02/2023

Date of decision: 16/02/2023

Decided at meeting: 16/02/2023 - CABINET

Effective from: 25/02/2023

Accompanying Documents: