Anti-Ulez vigilantes hang up bat boxes on camera poles in latest disruptive tactic

File image of a Ulez sign (PA Wire)
File image of a Ulez sign (PA Wire)

Anti-Ulez vigilantes have reportedly taken to hanging up bat boxes as part of their latest disruption efforts.

The cheap wooden boxes are being fixed to some Ulez camera poles in a plot to stop technicians fixing them, The Sun newspaper reported.

Among the locations where the boxes have been spotted is North Cheam in south London, while another was reported in Chessington, south-west London.

Both locations have previously seen anti-Ulez protests.

Kingsley Hamilton, of the Action Against Unfair Ulez online page, told the newspaper: “A number of bat boxes are being put up across London by unknown sources.

“I’m sure whoever is behind it is extremely grateful to TfL for providing the poles to house this protected species.

Sadiq Khan will not want to be seen to be tampering with their homes after claiming to care so much about protecting the environment.”

Bat species are protected under law, meaning it can be an offence to disturb their roosts.

A TfL spokesperson said: “We will ensure our activities at these sites comply with relevant legislation.”

The spokesperson pointed out that it is an offence to place apparatus on Ulez infrastructure without consent.

Nearly 1,000 crimes linked to ultra low emission zone (Ulez) cameras being stolen or vandalised were recorded by the Met Police in the period of April to November 2023.

Newer data has not been released.

Of the 987 offences chalked up by the force, 220 are reports of cameras being stolen and 767 of the devices being damaged.

It comes after a Government-backed bid to overturn the zone was blocked in the House of Commons.

The scheme was controversially expanded last August by Labour mayor Sadiq Khan to cover the entirety of Greater London.

Gareth Johnson, Conservative MP for Dartford, tabled the Greater London Low Emission Zone Charging (Amendment) Bill last week in a bid to give the Government the power to reverse the expansion.

But Labour MPs spoke at length against the change to ensure the Bill failed to progress.