Protestors say they “have no money to pay the fines.” Photo: Rasid Necati Aslim/Anadolu Agency (Getty Images)
If the nationwide failure of its airports wasn’t bad enough, Brits have even more to complain about today as the UK capital has expanded its Ultra Low Emission Zone to charge even more drivers for taking their gas-powered cars into London. However, the £12.50 (about $16) fee has proven too much for some, and drivers in the Big Smoke have taken matters into their own hands.
According to a report from ABC News, Londoners are now vandalizing the cameras that enforce London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone fees, which join the Congestion Charge in central London on the growing list of payments drivers must take to drive into the capital.
Angry drivers in the capital aren’t happy that they’ll now have to pay the additional fee, which joins the £15 (about $19) Congestion Charge fee that drivers pay to enter the City of London (the square mile right at the heart of the UK capital).
As the charge is policed by number plate recognition cameras dotted across the city, some residents have taken to vandalizing the cameras to stop them from fining those who don’t pay up. As ABC news reports:
“The cameras are going to keep coming down,” predicted Nick Arlett, who has organized protests against the clean-air charge and says he neither condones nor condemns the sabotage “People are angry.”
To combat the charges drivers, who told ABC news that they “have no money to pay the fines” and “no money to replace my car,” have taken to disabling the cameras imposing these fees. According to the site, they have been damaging, disconnecting and stealing the cameras to prevent the ULEZ charges from being enforced.
Cameras in the capital are being damaged, disabled and even stolen. Photo: Chris J. Ratcliffe/Bloomberg (Getty Images)
But it wasn’t just restless natives that were up in arms about the fee, the national government in the UK even tried to put a halt to its expansion across London. The Conservative government previously attacked the charges, even winning a special local election in the city by campaigning against the policy’s expansion.
What’s more, UK prime minister Rishi Sunak requested a review of Low Traffic Neighborhoods in the city, which ban cars on certain streets. This, coupled with the stance against the expansion of ULEZ and his approval of new North Sea oil and gas drilling, has sparked accusations from many onlookers that he is backtracking on UK climate commitments.
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