Havering councillors have given their reaction to a judge's decision to uphold London mayor Sadiq Khan’s plan to extend the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) scheme across the capital.

In a ruling that took place today (July 28), five Conservative-led councils lost their legal challenge against Mr Khan's plan to expand ULEZ on August 29.

The scheme is aimed at reducing air pollution across London and, under the plan, anyone driving a non-compliant vehicle within the ULEZ faces a daily fine.

Havering Council leader Ray Morgon said he was not surprised by the High Court decision.

He told the Recorder that the council's legal opinion rated the chances of the five councils succeeding in their bid as very low.

He said: “I am however disappointed that it is going ahead now because I have always said that it should at least be delayed until 2026 as a minimum.

“The costs for many residents who may not have a compliant vehicle are very high.”

He added that there would be a lot of “unintended consequences” of this charge not only for residents of Havering but beyond.

A number of workers who work in Havering, he said, are from outside London boroughs coming from places like Essex and they may decide it is no longer “financially viable” for them to come in to provide their services.

He felt the air quality in Havering is “already pretty good” and in his view the difference ULEZ can make to outer London boroughs “is going to be minimal” while the costs for it for many people “could be substantial.”

Keith Prince, leader of Havering Conservatives, said they will “continue to campaign to get the ULEZ expansion scrapped".

Read More: ULEZ: Havering Council faces forking out thousands in fines

He says the policy "will hit the poorest hardest", adding Sadiq Khan "cannot ignore the overwhelming opposition of Londoners forever".

Fellow Conservative councillor David Taylor said he was “deeply disappointed” by today’s ruling, but the “fight does not stop here”.

He claimed that ULEZ will do “next to nothing” to improve air quality in Havering, but “many of my residents are going to be hit with higher bills at a time when they can’t afford it".

Cllr Taylor accused the council of putting up "a soft opposition to ULEZ” by simply calling for it to be delayed and raised the issue of the authority facing fines for its own non-compliant vehicles.

But Cllr Morgon said: “I have always been very clear that it is all well and good for Havering Council to be saying that we are against it, but the fact is we did not have any power to stop the mayor.

“The mayor has the power and now that power has been confirmed by the court."

He said the council decided not to pursue legal action because of the costs, saying the authority could not afford to spend the money involved "when the chances of success was rated as low".

"Clearly that legal opinion was correct," Cllr Morgon added.

Mr Khan welcomed the judgement and said the expansion will enable millions more Londoners to breathe cleaner air.

He said: "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.

"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."