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In Greater London, the recent introduction of the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) by Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has brought with it a wave of controversy and a unique form of resistance. With ULEZ charging older vehicles £12.50 per day to enter the city, some Londoners have taken matters into their own hand, utilising an unlikely arsenal of gardening tools to sabotage ULEZ cameras.
The Ultra Low Emission Zone, was implemented in Greater London to combat air pollution by restricting access to older, more polluting vehicles. While the initiative aimed to improve air quality and reduce emissions, it quickly became a topic of heated debate with questions raised about data used in its justification and the actual benefit in improving air quality. Charging drivers of older vehicles to enter central London is likely to disproportionately affect the less well off, leaving many poorer residents and motorists feeling the pinch in their pockets.
In response, so called "blade runners." have been using garden tools as their weapons of choice to disable the ULEZ cameras scattered throughout the city. Their modus operandi involves using these tools such as loppers and pruners to sever the cables at the back of the cameras, rendering them inoperable. This disrupts the ULEZ surveillance system, creating loopholes that allow some vehicles to slip through without incurring the charges. Despite efforts by local authorities to secure and repair the cameras, the phenomenon of garden tool sabotage shows no signs of abating. The "blade runners" remain a thorn in the side of ULEZ proponents, complicating the enforcement of the controversial scheme.
This story was published on: 08/09/2023
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