Ulez vigilantes dress up as Batman as they thwart Sadiq Khan's enforcement cameras

Ulez vigilantes dress up as Batman as they thwart Sadiq Khan's enforcement cameras

Watch as the Batmen spring into action in Chessington

James Saunders

By James Saunders

Published: 02/04/2024

- 09:44

The two caped crusaders could be seen attaching legally-protected bat boxes to Ulez poles to prevent cameras being installed

Anti-Ulez activists dressed as Batman have been spotted installing a 'bat box' to block an enforcement camera in South London in what marks the latest protest against the controversial scheme.

Footage posted online shows two men in full superhero garb affixing a box to a pole which they believe is set to support a Ulez camera in Chessington - accompanied by the theme tune from the classic Adam West TV series.

In the video, the pair can be seen bounding across Mansfield Road with a ladder in hand in scenes more akin to Only Fools and Horses than The Dark Knight - before ascending the pole and attaching the box.

Alongside the temporary habitat, the caped crusaders appear to have attached warning notices to the pole, which read: "STOP! This is a BAT BOX. Bats have been observed to be using this bat box as a resting place."

Batman Ulez protestors

The pair of activists on Mansfield Road were recorded climbing the pole to install the box


This is just the latest piece of action taken against the scheme since its London-wide rollout in August 2023 - activists have previously destroyed and vandalised Ulez cameras in various locations across the capital.

But this specific act of protest invokes animal conservation rules to prevent officials from removing the camera coverings; bat roosts have legal protection across the country, and attempts to disturb, destroy or block access to the boxes can be classed as offences.

While the bat boxes constitute an attempt to checkmate authorities, experts have warned the protestors may not have legal standing.

In response to earlier protests, Joe Nunez-Mino, of the Bat Conservation Trust, said bat boxes on main roads would likely not be used by the animals - and that boxes must only be opened by licensed bat workers.


Ulez camera

This is just the latest bat box protest by Ulez vigilantes against Sadiq Khan's expansion


While planning expert David Bird, a solicitor at law firm VWV, said: "Unless bats have moved in, TfL can just take them down."

At the time, protestors said the installations were "positively contributing to London's biodiversity and ecosystem".

Kingsley Hamilton, from Action Against Unfair Ulez, told the Sun: "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."

The clean air scheme has received widespread criticism for its unaffordability - if Londoners' vehicles don't meet its emissions standards and don't have an exemption, drivers are required to pay £12.50 for each day of motoring in the zone.

Ulez cameras use Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) to enforce the scheme's penalty charges - but acts of vandalism against them had led to almost 1,000 recorded crimes by November last year, according to the Metropolitan Police.

A TfL spokesperson told GB News: "We will ensure our activities at these sites comply with relevant legislation."

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