The High Court in London ruled Friday that contentious plans by the city’s mayor to extend a scheme requiring more polluting vehicles to pay a daily charge when driven can go ahead next month. The court rejected a challenge by five Conservative-led councils in and around London that Labour’s Sadiq Khan had acted unlawfully with his politically charged expansion of the Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ). The scheme — first introduced in 2019 and separate from the British capital’s two-decades-old congestion charge — requires the most polluting vehicles to pay a £12.50 ($16) toll on days they are driven within inner London. Its extension to all of Greater London from August 29 has prompted a fierce backlash from many living in and around the newly encompassed areas, who face fines of up to £160 for each day they fail to pay. It was widely blamed for costing the main opposition Labour party victory in a by-election last week in former prime minister Boris Johnson’s old parliamentary seat. The surprise result has prompted fears that both the Conservatives and Labour could roll back on climate change mitigation commitments that may prove costly to voters, amid the UK’s worst cost-of-living crisis in a generation.