London Mayor Sadiq Khan has been granted the green light to forge ahead with his plan to extend the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) from the 29th of August.
The ruling came after five Conservative-led councils, including Hillingdon, mounted a High Court challenge against the proposed expansion.
From next month, motorists operating the most polluting vehicles in the capital will be required to pay a £12.50 per day fee to drive within its boundaries.
Cllr Ian Edwards, Leader of Hillingdon Council, said: “I am hugely disappointed for our residents and businesses and I call on the Mayor of London to further reflect on his plans.
“Even the Mayor’s own supporters are now saying that it is the wrong time to be expanding this scheme. Many thousands of low-income earners, vulnerable people ordinary workers and small businesses who are the beating heart of our borough will have to shoulder further costs which they cannot afford. It will cause even greater financial hardship and for some it will cause the loss of business or employment.
“We will continue our fight on behalf of our residents and businesses through Parliament and at next year’s Mayoral election.
“I am proud that we had the courage and conviction to stand up for our residents and businesses and I would like to thank everyone who has been involved in or who has sent messages of support for our fight which, as I have said, will go on.”
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “This landmark decision is good news as it means we can proceed with cleaning up the air in outer London on 29 August.
“The decision to expand the ULEZ was very difficult and not something I took lightly and I continue to do everything possible to address any concerns Londoners may have.
“The ULEZ has already reduced toxic nitrogen dioxide air pollution by nearly half in central London and a fifth in inner London. The coming expansion will see five million more Londoners being able to breathe cleaner air.
“I’ve been listening to Londoners throughout the ULEZ rollout, which is why from next week I am expanding the scrappage scheme to nearly a million families who receive child benefit and all small businesses with up to fifty employees. I will continue to look at new ideas to support Londoners.
“Nine out of 10 cars seen driving in outer London on an average day are already compliant so won’t pay a penny – yet will still see the benefits of cleaner air. Air pollution is an urgent public health crisis – our children are growing up with stunted lungs and it is linked to a host of serious conditions, from heart disease to cancer and dementia.
“This unambiguous decision today in the High Court allows us to press on with the difficult but vital task of cleaning up London’s air and tackling the climate crisis.”