In response to the controversial expansion of the Ultra Low Emission Zone (Ulez) in London, the leader of the anti-Ulez group ‘Blade Runners’ has defended their actions of destroying traffic cameras as ‘unpaid voluntary work.’
The expansion of Ulez, which now covers all 32 boroughs of London, requires drivers of highly polluting vehicles to pay a daily fee of £12.50. This expansion led to clashes between protesters and police near Downing Street.
Transport Secretary Mark Harper has called for a grace period for drivers to avoid fines as the Transport for London website experienced technical issues.
‘Captain Gatso,’ the campaign director of Blade Runners, referred to their actions as necessary defensive measures against government policies.
Police Pursue Vandals as Anti-Ulez Protests Turn Violent
Despite the actions of Blade Runners and other groups, the Metropolitan Police are actively pursuing individuals engaged in Ulez-related vandalism.
The police emphasize their commitment to treating such criminal activity seriously.
Violent incidents occurred during anti-Ulez protests outside Downing Street, with confrontations between demonstrators and law enforcement.
The contentious expansion aims to generate significant revenue for the city while imposing fees on vehicles that fail to meet emission standards.
Transport Secretary Calls for Ulez Grace Period Amid Chaos
Transport Secretary Mark Harper has urged the mayor of London to provide a grace period for drivers affected by the Ulez expansion.
This grace period would mean that fines would not be immediately enforced on the first day of the expansion.
The call for leniency comes after the Transport for London website experienced difficulties, causing confusion among drivers trying to check their vehicles’ compliance status.
Harper criticized the mayor’s handling of the rollout and emphasized the need for fair treatment of motorists caught in the technical glitches.
Ulez Expansion Faces Technical Hurdles and Opposition
The launch of the Ulez expansion encountered technical challenges as the Transport for London website struggled to handle the volume of users attempting to check their vehicles’ compliance status.
Drivers were forced to wait in an online queue to access the website, leading to frustration and confusion.
Additionally, the expansion faced opposition from various quarters, including the vandalization of cameras by protesters, especially in areas like Bromley.
Several local councils, predominantly Tory-led, have protested the expansion, citing its potential financial burden on residents.
Mayor Defends Ulez Expansion Despite Opposition
London Mayor Sadiq Khan stands by the Ulez expansion, asserting that it is a crucial step toward addressing pollution in the city.
The expansion, which targets vehicles not meeting specific emission standards, aims to generate substantial revenue for the city’s coffers.
Despite criticism from various quarters, including Tory councils and residents, Khan maintains that the policy is necessary for promoting cleaner air and a healthier environment.
Alternative Approaches to Address Pollution Concerns
While the Ulez expansion continues to draw both support and opposition, critics advocate for alternative approaches to combat pollution.
Opposition leader Sir Keir Starmer emphasizes the importance of clean air but highlights the need for a proportionate response that does not disproportionately affect those already facing economic challenges.
Starmer suggests exploring different methods for achieving cleaner air while considering the unique circumstances of various cities and regions.
Local Authorities Reject Ulez Signs Near London Borders
A number of local authorities bordering London have refused to sign agreements allowing Ulez signs within their jurisdictions.
These councils, largely Tory-led, express concerns about the financial impact of Ulez on their residents.
The opposition comes from councils including Surrey, Kent, Essex, Hertfordshire, Buckinghamshire, and Thurrock.
Only Slough Borough Council, with the smallest border with London, has signed an agreement for limited Ulez signage installation.Share on Facebook «||» Share on Twitter «||» Share on Reddit «||» Share on LinkedIn