Anti-ULEZ campaigners have claimed they blocked ‘more than 100’ cameras during a ‘world record attempt’ to block every device in a London borough. The event took place on Sunday (February 11) in Sutton and aimed to ‘hit TfL in the pocket’ and show that protesters had ‘not gone away’.
It is claimed that even those in compliant vehicles were tooting their support and giving thumbs up when they noticed what was happening. Activists placed signs and boxes over Transport for London’s (TfL) ANPR cameras, they say, to ensure that officials’ income from fines was blocked.
Proponents of the action add that these events are set to grow larger. A supporter who took part told MyLondon: “It was an incredibly well-organised and successful event, all credit to everyone involved behind the scenes making sure it was really effective and all cameras were covered.
“It look an awful lot of time and effort, but has proven to be brilliant in raising awareness and support, also hitting TfL where it hurts, in the pocket with the lost revenue of a whole borough for several hours to make them sit up and take notice and showing that we’ve not gone away. These events will get bigger and better across more boroughs.
He added: “This was legal direct action that gets noticed and allows people who have been isolated in their own homes or are scared to drive through fear of fines or charges they cannot afford in a cost of living crisis to have a window of opportunity to go out and to know there are people standing up for them if they are unable to join protests themselves.
Get the latest London travel news straight to your WhatsApp
You can sign up to get the latest London travel news, live updates and fun trivia sent straight to your WhatsApp from the MyLondon team.
To get stories sent to you, you need to already have WhatsApp. All you need to do is click this link and select ‘join community’.
No one will be able to see who is signed up and no one can send messages except the MyLondon team.
We also treat our subscribers to special offers, promotions, and adverts from us and our partners. If you don’t like our community, you can check out any time you like. To unsubscribe, click on the name at the top of your screen and choose ‘exit group’. If you’re curious, you can read our privacy notice.
“It also needs to encourage others who agree with us that they can help too in such events.”
The protester emphasised that the groups action at the weekend was ‘legal’ but noted that other cameras in the area have previously been deactivated or obscured by so-called ‘Blade Runners’ and not yet repaired. The Met has confirmed that the event ‘passed peacefully’ and no arrests were made.
Mayor has ‘no problems’ with people protesting ‘lawfully and peacefully’
Sadiq Khan previously told MyLondon when asked about ULEZ camera blockers: “I’ve got no problems with people protesting about any issue, as long as it’s lawful, peaceful and safe. [But] I do worry sometimes people, because of their strong feelings on a variety of different issues, protest in a way that’s unlawful, dangerous and not safe.
“So as long as people are acting in a way that’s lawful, peaceful and safe – that’s one of the cornerstones of our democracy.”
A spokesperson for the mayor – who is also Chair of TfL – told the Evening Standard: “The vast majority of vehicles – 95 per cent – seen driving in the Ultra Low Emission Zone on an average day are already compliant and will not have to pay a penny.
“The mayor has been clear that the decision to expand the Ultra Low Emission Zone London-wide was not an easy one, but necessary to tackle toxic air pollution, which is leading to children growing up with stunted lungs and thousands of people in our city developing life-changing illnesses, such as cancer, lung disease, dementia and asthma.
“Causing criminal damage is absolutely unacceptable and all incidents of ULEZ camera vandalism are reported to the police for investigation, with damaged or destroyed cameras swiftly replaced. Criminal damage will not stop the ULEZ operating though it could endanger the safety of vandals and the public.”
Get the biggest stories from around London straight to your inbox. Sign up to MyLondon’s The 12 HERE for the 12 biggest stories each day.