A year of anti-ULEZ protesting comes to an end
So we move towards Christmas, tired but not giving up. There have been some hiccups, as our popular on the spot reporter Matt Hardy is arrested but not charged, just prevented from doing his usual on the spot reporting, and a large explosion in a TFL camera supply box leads to speculation that a IED was used but with no further information from the media there are plenty of theories circulating. The camera and pole next to the box in Sidcup were disabled around two hours before the explosion, which caused damage to nearby vehicle and house, and narrowly missed a pedestrian. This kind of excessive response is not one that any of the regular campaigners would condone, as no one wants to put lives and personal property at risk like this so it does remain a mystery. Some are even saying it was done to discredit the protesters.
There have been two arrests although no charges have been brought at the time of writing
On a more positive note, MP Gareth Johnson presented a Private Members’ Bill to overturn the ULEZ expansion. Although this won’t really get much more of an airing until March next year, we can be grateful that there are some MPs on our side and prepared to fight. Not sure what happened to Teresa Villiers 10 minute Bill calling for an amendment to the Greater London Authority Act 1999 (Amendment) from May 3rd that was due a second reading on 24th November.
Sadiq Khan is being accused of more financial mismanagement as he is bailed out yet again to the sum of £250million, at the same time as stating his intention to put a further 8.6% on council tax bills next year, whilst blaming others as usual. His housing record is also being brought into question with the possibility of the Government overriding his powers and taking planning control away from him – now why couldn’t they do that for the ULEZ Expansion?
Bring on the Mayoral Elections next May – it’s time for Sadiq Khan to go.
The final protest of the year was in Twickenham, home of Mark’s famous anti-ULEZ van which is covered in stickers, posters and slogans that are a record of the campaign so far. The van will eventually have to be scrapped but there are many who think it should be preserved for prosperity. The demo was reasonably well attended for a pre-Christmas weekend, including a visit from a journalist from The Times. It was also the same day as the much anticipated Anti-ULEZ Christmas Party which was expertly organised by Kingsley Hamilton as a thank you for all our hard work over the year, and giving us the chance to socialise inside for a change. A good time was had by all and we will be ready to regroup in the new year. We will stop ULEZ in 2024