Before the launch of Sadiq Khan’s despised £12.50-a-day program on Tuesday, a new set of spy cameras was installed at the M4 Heathrow junction to mark the boundary into Greater London.

A new set of surveillance cameras has been installed at the M4 Heathrow junction, marking the boundary into Greater London in preparation for the expansion of the Ultra Low Emission Zone (Ulez). These cameras are being placed over the road gantries and serve to delineate the area where older cars will be prohibited starting from next week. This expansion of Ulez, led by Sadiq Khan, has faced criticism and opposition for the £12.50-a-day charge, seen by some as disproportionately affecting those who cannot afford newer, environmentally friendly vehicles.

The newly installed cameras have been positioned high up with protective armored boxes around their cables to deter interference. They provide data on non-compliant vehicles to Transport for London (TfL) for the purpose of fee enforcement and fine imposition. Roadside signs have been updated to warn drivers of the new Ulez boundary set to take effect from August 29.

This Ulez expansion encompasses the M4 as it approaches London, and Junction 3 marks the final opportunity for non-compliant vehicles to turn around before the £12.50 charge applies. Failure to pay the fee results in a £180 fine. Despite opposition, the expansion is intended to improve air quality and affect a relatively small percentage of vehicles entering or exiting London.

The Ulez rollout has faced challenges such as stolen or vandalized cameras, and some local authorities have declined to endorse it by allowing signs to be placed on their boundaries. The scheme’s efficacy has also been questioned by studies, while its financial impact and inconvenience have stirred discontent among various groups. The Mayor’s decision to expand the Ulez zone is expected to be a topic of discussion in the upcoming London mayoral elections.

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