ULEZ cameras covered up with plastic bags in south London
Reusable bags have been spotted covering new ULEZ cameras in south London as protests against the expansion continue.
The shopping bags were sighted covering the cameras last week in Kingston town centre - but other areas such as Sutton and Greenwich have also seen devices covered up or vandalised as protests continue against the scheme.
Pictures from social media show cameras covered with bags and cardboard boxes, with one box reading a "stop electing idiots”, whilst others show wires cut and lenses painted over.
A spokesperson for Kingston Council did not provide further comment on the covering of the cameras in the town centre but said that the council “supports the expansion of the ULEZ in principle.”
They did express concerns about the timeline of the scheme.
Kingston Council added: “Rushing to expand the scheme could leave some of our residents and businesses struggling to cope in the midst of a cost of living crisis.”
Around 2,570 Automatic Number Plate Recognition cameras are being placed across London ahead of the ULEZ expansion and currently, more than 300 cameras have already been installed across outer London boroughs.
London’s ultra-low emissions zone (ULEZ) is due to be expanded to cover the whole of the capital from August 29 to boost air quality, with a £12.50 daily fee for vehicles not meeting minimum standards.
Nearly 700,000 car drivers in London will face a daily £12.50 ultra low emission zone fee when the scheme expands, according to new analysis.
The RAC, which carried out the research, said the expansion of the zone from August 29 will have a “massive financial impact on motorists and businesses”.
Transport for London (TfL) claimed that nine out of 10 cars seen driving in outer London on an average day meet the ULEZ standards, so will not be liable for the charge.
Greenwich has also seen cameras vanish after recently after reportedly having their wires cut.
A resident posted on Facebook on March 17 said: "Did anyone see any lights in the sky last night? Think we were visited by aliens.
“At least five ULEZ cameras were abducted last night, Greenwich area.
“On a positive note, we can now get to Queen Elizabeth Hospital for free."
Pictures, which have emerged from social media, seem to show wires on the ULEZ cameras at the Knee Hill junction left slashed.
A spokesperson for Mayor of London said that it is “deeply disappointing” to see opposition to the policy.
It added that this “petty” vandalism of London’s “essential” transport infrastructure is completely “unacceptable”.
Last month the mayor wrote to the leaders of Bexley, Bromley, Harrow and Hillingdon councils - describing their grounds for a potential legal challenge to the measure as “wholly without merit and misconceived”.
He insisted it is “simply not true” that the scheme is a “money-making venture” and that he is “determined to reduce the toxic air in our city, which leads to around 4,000 Londoners dying prematurely every year”.
A Kingston Council spokesperson said: “Given the urgency of tackling the threat of air pollution, Kingston Council supports the expansion of the ULEZ in principle.
“We are committed to improving air quality and encouraging sustainable and active ways of travel.
“We support any initiatives that contribute to achieving these commitments for current and future generations, however these must be sensitive to the impact they may have on people’s daily lives.
“We are concerned about the timetable for implementing ULEZ in outer London boroughs.
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“More time is needed to allow for mitigation measures to be put into place.
“Rushing to expand the scheme could leave some of our residents and businesses struggling to cope in the midst of a cost of living crisis.
“We also need more investment in improving public transport around Kingston borough.
“We do not think the current scrappage scheme is enough.
“It must be expanded, both to cover more vehicles and to offer a higher level of compensation to support more people.”