Opponents of London’s ULEZ expansion have launched a guerrilla war against the very cameras that will be used to monitor the controversial program.
Shopping bags and cardboard boxes began to appear above automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras installed by Transport for London (TfL) across the capital.
More than 300 ANPR devices have recently been installed, while a total of 2,750 are to be added in time for the official launch date of the ULEZ extension on August 29 later this year.
A box placed over a camera by a vigilante had the words “Stop Electing Idiots” printed on its side.
Bag for disputes: Saisbury’s shopping bag hangs from a license plate recognition camera for the ULEZ program in London in protest
Instead of just blocking the camera, a vandal decided to share a message to the public about his feelings towards the ULEZ program
The scheme aims to reduce air pollution in London, and drivers whose cars fail to meet minimum emissions standards must pay £12.50 a day to enter the zone.
But, it has been revealed that the Met Police and British Transport Police will have access to the cameras for crime-fighting purposes, sparking fears for activists’ privacy.
The ULEZ is just one of many introduced while Sadiq Khan was London Mayo. Other green programs include the Many Low Traffic Neighborhoods (or LTNs) that block traffic on secondary roads and the deployment of miles of bike lanes throughout the city.
Critics say London Mayor Sadiq Khan’s decision to expand the area to cover the majority of land on the M25 unfairly targets the poor and many have taken to social media to applaud the vandals covering the cameras.
Chris Rose tweeted: “Love that the people of London have covered ULEZ camera money with cardboard boxes and bags for life.”
Another user even suggested attaching “a small weight to the handle of the bag, making sure the bag doesn’t get blown.”
While Elliana Eaton wrote: ‘This is awesome!! Taxing the poor again. Can’t believe it’s coming in August for Greater London.
“So many people (especially the elderly) are going to become so isolated. Plus all the people trying to make a living on a pittance. Just outrageous.
Not everyone was in favor of bags covering cameras, with Twitter user Scott asking, “Who wants to live in a city full of dirty air?”
It is one of the latest attacks on the scheme, after four cameras at Abbey Wood, Greenwich, were pictured with their cute wires and lenses painted black.
Photographs emerged from a camera west of Sutton, whose wires were also cut, and another in Catford, Lewisham, with a lens painted black in an effort to obstruct his view. Others also show cameras ripped from their perch and thrown to the ground.
By blocking the view of the camera, the vandals hope that drivers who fail to meet minimum emissions standards will not be charged the £12.50 daily fee to enter the zone.
Photographs emerged from a camera west of Sutton whose wires were cut
Bagged for life: two sturdy shopping bags cover ANPR cameras on either side of a road in London
Although the camera is being installed at a rapid pace in most areas, it has yet to be installed in Bexley, Bromley, Harrow and Hillingdon, whose councils are seeking to challenge the mayor in court over the proposals .
Londoners can apply for a means-tested grant of up to £2,000 to scrap their non-ULEZ compliant cars or motorbikes. But the decision to continue the expansion during the cost of living crisis was met with outrage.
It comes after Honslow council was accused of hypocrisy after supporting the expansion – then asking for an exemption for its own 400 vehicles.
Deputy Leader of Hounslow Council Katherine Dunne wrote to the Mayor of London last summer raising concerns that he would not be able to make all his vehicles ULEZ compliant d here is the August 2023 deadline.
The council is one of 16 outer London boroughs that have backed the mayor’s plans to expand the area, and already has 37 ULEZ cameras installed on its streets.
Newly installed cameras in the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) in south London have been vandalized
Mr Khan has recently come under heavy criticism for calling some ULEZ opponents “far right” and “Covid deniers”.
At a lively People’s Question Hour in Ealing, west London, he said: ‘Let’s be frank, let’s call a spade a spade… some of those outside are on the far right , some are Covid deniers, some are vaccine deniers and some are conservative.
Angry members of the public reportedly shouted, “We’re not far-right – normal people aren’t far-right.”
Responding to the comments, Mr Khan said: ‘What I meant was that there were honest people, including Tory members, who had legitimate objections, and I’m not sure those honest people realized that on their side were conspiracy theorists and people. holding swastikas.’
It also emerged that the mayor had asked Transport for London to consider using ULEZ cameras to charge motorists as part of a ‘pay-as-you-go’ system in the capital.
The Ultra Low Emissions Zone is to be extended in August to cover the whole of Greater London – seen here in purple
Mr Khan has previously revealed he wants to impose a ‘Singapore-like’ network of toll roads across London as part of efforts to improve air quality in the capital.
It said the ‘closest comparator’ for its road user pricing plans was Singapore, which has ‘electronic road pricing’ which uses sensors attached to gantries on major roads to capture license plates .
These sensors track what time drivers take certain roads and charge them a toll based on these factors, for example rush hour traffic on a busy road being more expensive.
But this change is currently not possible in London because “the technology is not there”
However, cameras introduced as part of the ULEZ expansion could be used to monitor how far drivers travel, where they travel and the level of emissions emitted by their vehicles – with fears drivers could be charged per kilometer .
A van was smashed with ‘Stop ULEZ’ on its bonnet as hundreds of activists campaigned in Trafalgar Square last month
Some protesters were armed with signs demanding the mayor of London be sacked
Protesters took to the streets of London in February demanding a halt to the proposed ‘Khanage’
In the crowd was Piers Corbyn (pictured) – brother of former Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn
In February and March, protesters took to the streets of London, calling for a halt to the “Khanage” ultra-low-emissions zone project.
Hundreds of activists campaigned in Trafalgar Square amid backlash against plans that will see Londoners pay £12.50 a day to drive polluting cars.
Among the crowd was Piers Corbyn – brother of former Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn – holding an information poster reading ‘BREAK Sadiq Khan!’, ‘I can’t pay!’ I will not pay!’
Others carried placards demanding the mayor of London be sacked, with children also seen holding posters against the plan.
The protests come as the city prepares for the expansion of the ULEZ as part of a mission to combat climate change.
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