Feeds

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

Motorist surveillance goes orbital

Intelligent flash storage arrays

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.

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts
UK government: 'Taking a stand against a baying cyber-mob'
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
Zippy one-liners, broken promises: Doctor Who on the Orient Express
Series finally hits stride, but Clara's U-turn is baffling
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.