The following post is syndicated from jonova.com.au
The war on the poor has become a war on surveillance cameras
The ULEZ “Ultra Low Emission Scheme” in London will force drivers in outer London to pay a draconian £12.50 daily ULEZ fee when the scheme expands to their area from August 29th. But many of these people are poor and can’t afford to buy a new car or pay the fee. People who own diesel cars older than 2015 or petrol cars older than 2006 will have to pay the fees, so this will hurt the poorest people the most. Not surprisingly, this is very unpopular, as it has a large impact on some people’s lives. Tradies are wondering if they should give up their business, and older people are already being forced to sell their cars. Healthcare workers on late night shifts may end up trying to get home to outer suburbs in the dead of night on sparse bus routes. Everyone inside the ULEZ zone will also end up paying more to get tradies from outside the zone to come into it.
This affects a lot of people, and perhaps as many as 850,000 vehicles registered in London are not compliant. The RAC says that “it will have a massive financial impact on motorists and businesses”.
Neil Garratt AM points out that while Sadiq Khan thinks the poorest Londoners don’t own a car the TfL (Transport for London) data shows that most do own a car, and they are more likely to own a car than the very highest income houses in inner London. (See the graph below).
Not surprisingly, people are angry
Officially some 339 reports have been received of damaged or missing ULEZ cameras — but an unofficial map tally suggests the number is more like 460 or 28% of all the cameras installed so far.
If only there were a better way to solve this, like say with a referendum? Let’s give people a vote instead. Perhaps they won’t want to give up their cars to make the world 0.000 degrees cooler in one hundred years time?
These rules are so invasive, people are getting desperate.
By Yasmin Rufo, BBC
Over four months, the Met received 339 reports of camera cables being damaged, or cameras being stolen or obscured. The actual number of cameras affected is likely to be even higher as one report can represent multiple cameras. Unofficial data mapping the location of disabled cameras suggests that almost 500 cameras could have been affected.
The force has not revealed the locations of any of the disabled cameras but a group of people calling themselves Julie’s Ulez map, who are opposed to the Ulez expansion, worked to track the locations and damage caused to cameras.
The map shows there are 1,619 cameras outside the North and South circular roads with 461 of those reported as vandalised or stolen – equating to 28% of the Transport for London’s (TfL) network cameras.
In the graph below “no car” is the blue line, and in Central London around 75% of the rich and poor don’t own a car. But in the outer zones only 20-40% don’t own a car, and presumably poorer people would own more cars if only they could afford it, since that’s what everyone else in their area with more money does.
This graph above shows the phenomenal success of the invention of cars and the industrialization and free-market that made it possible. In a little over a century, more than half of the poorest citizens were able to buy something far better than what the richest of the rich once had.
Alfieri Maserati in 1908
Resistance is growing
Groups, apps and interactive maps are springing up to protest and to map the locations of the cameras. Some councils have refused to allow cameras on the roads they manage, but most main roads will be covered with 2,750 cameras when the full set are installed.
Stop Ulez.com reports
Currently two people have been charged with criminal damage but one case has now been dropped the night before a crown court appearance (congratulations Kingsley – common sense prevailed) and the other is on-going, with a not guilty plea, crown court date and a lack of evidence.
The ULEZ Extension will be monitored by cameras, which are going up at an alarming rate on a traffic light near you (in you live in the large expansion zone). Although some councils have refused to allow TFL and Sadiq Khan to install cameras on council property and council owned roads, TFL are allowed to install whatever they fancy on routes that they manage. They are also installing ULEZ signage, the legality of which is being disputed, as discussed here by Bexley Council. These routes cover virtually all the main roads that run through each borough.
This prolificacy means that the chances of avoiding the cameras and finding a sneaky back route to the a school or allotment is severely limited.
- Julie’s ULEZ Map
- The Great Climate Con site has a program called “Reclaim Our Roads“which includes about 30 local groups on Twitter, Telegram and Facebook.
- Ulez Camera Locations is another live map (so people are “better equipped to plan journeys around them so you don’t have to enter the ULEZ zone if you don’t want to.”)
- ULEZ Camera Map (Private Facebook Group)
Photo Ford Model T: ModelTMitch
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