Harrow Council is challenging the installation of Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) cameras in the borough, as part of a coalition with Bexley, Bromley and Hillingdon and along with Surrey County Council.
They have launched a Judicial Review to challenge the expansion of ULEZ in the outer London boroughs. However, Harrow Council alleges that Transport for London (TfL) is starting to install Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras in ‘stealth’ within the area, despite the legal challenge.
Residents in the borough were surprised to see ANPR cameras appearing overnight on local traffic light columns. Some even thought it was a sign that Harrow had changed its stance on the ULEZ expansion.
Harrow Council leader, Cllr Paul Osborn, said the borough remains opposed to the expansion of ULEZ and will not be aiding the installation of ULEZ cameras or signage while their challenge remains unheard in court.
“We have not given permission for TfL to put up ULEZ cameras in Harrow, and have refused to cooperate with TfL in their installation. Part of our legal challenge against ULEZ expansion is to have the cameras removed. To date, we understand that the cameras have been installed on traffic lights, which are owned by TfL. It is completely unfair to implement a scheme that will hit many of our residents who are already struggling with the rising cost of living. We will continue to stand up for our residents and remain opposed to this unpopular scheme,” said Councillor Osborn.
Osborn noted that Harrow Council’s legal challenge against ULEZ expansion is to have the cameras removed. He criticized the scheme, stating that it would unfairly impact residents already struggling with the rising cost of living.
The coalition of London boroughs, along with Surrey County Council, is challenging the proposed expansion of ULEZ, and while the challenge is yet to be heard in court, TfL appears to be installing ANPR cameras across the boroughs.
Cllr Ian Edwards, Leader of Hillingdon Council, said: “The installation of these cameras across Hillingdon shows a staggering level of contempt from the Mayor, not just for the feelings of residents who are overwhelmingly against his expansion proposals, but also for the pending legal challenge from the five boroughs.
“One of our grounds for challenge was that the outcome of last year’s ULEZ consultation was predetermined. The appearance of these cameras is further evidence that for the Mayor this expansion proposal is a fait accompli.
“But this coalition will not flex to his will and questions the lawfulness of this installation by stealth of his cameras, which has understandably caused huge upset to residents who are relying on us to protect them from the financial devastation the ULEZ expansion would cause for so many families and businesses.”
The coalition of London boroughs and Surrey County Council are resolutely opposed to the proposed ULEZ expansion and will continue to stand up for their residents.
The appearance of the ANPR cameras in Harrow has been interpreted by some residents as a sign that the council has reversed its decision. However, the council has made it clear that this is not the case and that the dispute is ongoing.