Two-thirds of suburban London boroughs ‘have consented to Ulez enforcement cameras’

Two-thirds of suburban London boroughs ‘have consented to Ulez enforcement cameras’


Sixteen of London’s 24 boroughs that will be affected by the ultra-low-emission zone (Ulez) extension have agreed to have surveillance cameras placed on their streets, it has been revealed.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan plans to extend the ulez to all 33 boroughs on August 29 this year to reduce road pollution.

A £110m scrapping scheme offering grants to lower-income Londoners, small businesses and charities to scrap or upgrade non-compliant vehicles opened on Monday.

Some Tory and Lib-Dem-run counties have expressed their opposition to the Ulez expansion or have asked Mr Khan to delay the expansion to give residents more time to upgrade their vehicles.

Transport for London has asked London City Councilors to sign a Section 8 agreement giving it permission to place surveillance cameras and traffic signs on the Borough’s roads.

Alex Williams, TfL’s chief customer and strategy officer, who is overseeing Ulez’s expansion, told the Evening Standard: “Sixteen have signed and we need 24 to sign. We are in a good place.”

He said letters would be sent to counties that had not yet agreed to grant the permit. Some of the delays are due to the need for approval of a full Council meeting rather than objections in principle, he said. “I think we’ll get over the line pretty soon,” he said.

The eight boroughs yet to be signed are understood to be five Tory, two Lib-Dem and one Labor-led Council. TfL has declined to name the districts.

Last week the Standard revealed that TfL already had the legal authority to install around two thirds of the cameras as they will be placed on existing traffic lights.

TfL is also authorized to place cameras on local roads but would prefer to do so with local consent.

“It’s a big decision for the mayor and I’m not surprised some counties are opposed to it,” Mr Williams said.

“We have the power to install the cameras. Two thirds will stand on existing signal masts. The signage usually changes in the environmental zone [low emission zone] Signs are already there to say LEZ and ULEZ. I am confident that these problems will be solved.

“We want to do this together with the districts. We want them to respect the mayor’s decision. It’s not about money – it’s about the health of Londoners. Most of those outer London boroughs where they are concerned have 100 to 150 premature deaths each year linked to poor air quality.

“We are confident that the cameras and signs will all arrive. If you want to be out of the zone, what are you saying – you want more dirty vehicles in your district? This is perverse logic.”

Mr Khan said he expected four Tory districts would seek judicial review of his decision to extend the ulez in Greater London.

He dodged questions about whether he would accede to the London Assembly’s call for a £100m increase in the size of the car scrapping scheme or to delay the start of the scheme.

He said: “We have seen four Conservative councilors take TfL to court and now Lib-Dem Richmond and Lib-Dem Kingston are also trying to find an excuse for a delay. I am very clear: in the face of opposition from the Conservative/Lib-Dem coalition, I am not prepared to hesitate.”

Asked about the eight councils who have yet to agree to TfL installing Ulez cameras on their streets, Mr Khan said: “I think more councils will sign up before the deadline… before the program goes live.

“I think these four Tory councilors will take TfL to court. It’s up to these four Tory councilors to explain to their residents how they’re using taxpayers’ money to pay lawyers to start a legal case, rather than [providing] free school meals or help me make the air cleaner.”

Nick Rogers, transport spokesman for the GLA Conservatives, said: “Sadiq Khan’s scrapping scheme will not protect the vast majority of low-income Londoners and small businesses from his ULEZ tax.

“Sadiq Khan has not been honest about his ULEZ expansion and the bogus advice he is using to implement it. The Mayor needs to listen to Londoners, abandon his expansion and spend the money on measures that actually reduce air pollution.”

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