Feeds

Mayor Ken's Low Emission Zone - a load of hot air?

Motorist surveillance goes orbital

The essential guide to IT transformation

Extending the camera zone

TfL, characteristically, has not mentioned privacy at all, if there are to be camera based systems at many locations across the LEZ, the system must by definition capture the VRM (number plate) of all vehicles passing it - whether or not they are required to pay any congestion or pollution charges. Of course, the system may then discard the data for all vehicles that are exempt from the charge.

TfL also mentions that it may consider including the sections of the M1, M4, M11, and A3113 that are within the M25 in the LEZ; currently doing so would require the approval of the Secretary of State. However, that may not necessarily be needed as at some point very soon a Transport Bill will be presented to Parliament which will enable councils to introduce road charging on a "trial basis".

To avoid over-complicating matters by involving other councils, the LEZ will cover the 33 Greater London boroughs, which is not quite the whole M25 area. But depending on the pervasiveness of the monitoring equipment it could potentially form an "instant" extended charge zone, or maybe just a snooping and surveillance one.

As to the costs of the Low Emission Zone, if a transport company has no choice but to buy new vehicles or pay the charge, then it logically follows that significant elements of this will be passed on ultimately to consumers - you and me. Unless we happen to be driving a foreign registered vehicle.

So there will certainly be less pollution in the Greater London Area - which is clearly good news, as a former cyclist in Central London I certainly welcome it.

But with barely a mention of it in Ken's gleaming press releases, we will be in a situation where every vehicle can be tracked and traced - and I don't recall seeing that in any manifesto, or recall Londoners being given the option to vote on it. Remember, once the system is in, there is no turning back, or getting away from it.

Of course, it is possible that TfL is either not aware of the issues - or has hoped no one will notice. ®

Jason Scrutton was the risk manager for the contractor who delivered the London Congestion Charging project, and currently assists his clients with stakeholder engagement and congestion management. Until recently, he regularly used to cycle from east to west London.

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Hello, police, El Reg here. Are we a bunch of terrorists now?
Do Brits risk arrest for watching beheading video nasty? We asked the fuzz
UK fuzz want PINCODES on ALL mobile phones
Met Police calls for mandatory passwords on all new mobes
Munich considers dumping Linux for ... GULP ... Windows!
Give a penguinista a hug, the Outlook's not good for open source's poster child
EU justice chief blasts Google on 'right to be forgotten'
Don't pretend it's a freedom of speech issue – interim commish
Detroit losing MILLIONS because it buys CHEAP BATTERIES – report
Man at hardware store was right: name brands DO last longer
Snowden on NSA's MonsterMind TERROR: It may trigger cyberwar
Plus: Syria's internet going down? That was a US cock-up
UK government accused of hiding TRUTH about Universal Credit fiasco
'Reset rating keeps secrets on one-dole-to-rule-them-all plan', say MPs
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Yes, but what are your plans if a DRAGON attacks?
Local UK gov outs most ridiculous FoI requests...
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.