M25 Low Emission Zone - another ANPR surveillance snooping scheme

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Ken Livingstone has published another fake public "consultation" regarding his "Low Emission Zone" plans which will cover the whole of London within the M25 starting in 2008.

Low Emission Zone Consultation

Frequently Asked Questions

This will cover all the 33 London Boroughs within the M25, but not the M25 itself, and will seek to limit particulate carbon air pollutants , which are mostly produced by pre-2001 vintage diesel engined lorries etc. through Yet Another Automatic Number Plate Recognition enforced system of fees (£100 to £200 a day) and fines (£ 1000 or more).

Unlike the London Congestion Charge, presumably this LEZ scheme will need to be run 24/7 and at weekends.

"It is proposed that the LEZ would be enforced using Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras similar to those used for Congestion Charging. Fixed cameras would be supplemented by mobile patrol units fitted with ANPR cameras"

Why have they chosen the most intrusive and privacy unfriendly "control freak" way of enforcing this anti-pollution policy ?

It will be impossible for only Heavy Goods Vehicles to be tracked in and out of Greater London, and fined if they have not paid their £100 plus "dirty engine" tax, or let through if they are deemed to be clean enough, based entirely on Yet Another Congestion Charge style database.

ANPR cameras sited around the edge of, and presumably within the M25, will snoop on all vehicles, and presumably the data will be sent to the National Automatic Number Plate Recogintion Database in Hendon, where the movements of all vehicles, including private cars, will be kept for at least 2 years, and probably at least 6 years, even if for the vast majority of law abiding drivers !

There is immediate scope for function creep for the options mentioned such as to tighten the pollution criteria, and to extend the scheme to light vans, and also to nitrogen dioxide pollution as well. How this can be done without also affecting cars, is a mystery.

Why are TfL and the Mayor not lobbying for a "Pollution tax" surcharge to the road tax, for all vehicles which fail to meet the pollution criteria which they are demanding for the Low Emission Zone ?

Why are Tfl and the Mayor not lobbying the Department of Transport for changes to the Vehicle Emission Standards for all vehicles in the UK, which are getting progressively tighter anyway, due to European Union legislation ?

Why are they not planning to enforce a ban on "dirty" engined vehicles through spot checks and actual roadside measurement of the pollutants ?

There is a claim that this sort of vehicular air pollution causes "1000 premature deaths a year in London", but there are no medical studies cited which substantiate this claim. Why not ?

Where are the traffic surveys which estimate how many of the Heavy Goods Vehicles currently travelling within the M25 would be caught by this new LEZ policy, and how many would be exempt ?

Where are the cost estimates for this LEZ scheme, using ANPR cameras and database, and where are the cost estimates for the alternative ways of enforcing such a policy ?

None of these basic facts and assumptions have been published in this fake public "consultation".

What have TfL and the Mayor of London got to hide ?

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Thanks to an email correspondent for alerting us to the Mayor Of London Ken Livingstone's latest mass surveillance plans. He is proposing Yet Another Automatic Number Plate Recognition system, which will snoop on every vehicle entering or leaving the G... Read More


It seems likely that the introduction of the LEZ scheme will impose costs on hauliers that are out of all proportion to any resulting health benefits accruing to Londoners. The burden will probably be felt most keenly by small transport businesses who often rely on older vehicles.

Another worrying feature of the scheme is that it puts in place infrastructure that might be used in the future to extend the congestion charge to the whole of London. Congestion charging is an extremely inefficient way of tackling traffic congestion and if imposed London-wide will act as an additional tax for those motorists living in the capital and therefore another good reason for decent people to move away, along with the high level of squalor and street crime.

The LEZ scheme will persecute even the owner of a small, rarely used campervan such as a VW Kombi when the owner lives in the London area. The owner will be obliged to get rid of this special and personalised vehicle.

Often such people (I'm one) cannot afford to buy a new, modern vehicle and even if they could, could not face the lengthy task all over again of personalising it. Campervans are like that. Hence it is, amongst other uses, "campervan holidays goodbye". It's enough to make one despair. Is this what the scheme has in mind?

At the very least, such vehicles should be permitted a reasonable number of free journeys within the zone to enable the owner to leave the area to visit friends who live out in the sticks, for the evening, and to go on campervan holidays.

ah the camper van yes,
why would i want to drive my camper into london the hole idear of my camper is to get away from here and im 2 miles inside the lez £200 out £200 back home for 4 mile,s.
not that i even got to vote for ken i dont live in london i live in middlesex im a stones through from a london post code though but i never got to vote so why has this fashist nazi got to do with me? oh i forgot yes 2012 olimpics that i dont want but i can pay for. well ken u need a bullet in the head you fucker

This is outrageous. I am very worried about the function creep aspect. Ken Livingstone is going to make the whole of London a congestion zone. That chiselling crook has already made life in London oppressive and what with the CONgestion Charge, vulture like parking wardens,draconian councils abusing CCTV cameras to raise taxes from motorists SOMETHING NEEDS TO BE DONE AND QUICK!

Why not change congestion to environment charge let electic cars pass free. Put electric connection plugs on parking meters. maybe charge for use of power but the charge would be the same parking rate for infernal combustion vihicles It would be so nice to have a breath of air in the cities.

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