Mayor of London Sadiq Khan is facing legal action over plans to give the Met Police access to traffic cameras monitoring the expanded Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ). 

Campaigners against the expansion accused the Mayor of promoting "a huge increase in surveillance of Londoners" adding that it will "disproportionately effect ethnic minorities".

READ MORE: ULEZ Expansion: See the full proposed expansion map

It comes after Mayor Khan granted forced access of data from the Automated Number-Plate Recognition (ANPR) system, which scans roads for vehicles entering and leaving the ULEZ.

The system would allow Met Officers to bring up images showing the colour and make of vehicles and maybe the faces of drivers and pedestrians, campaigners said. 

Wandsworth Times: The ULEZ expansion map (TfL)The ULEZ expansion map (TfL) (Image: TfL)

Green Party London Assembly member Sian Berry and the digital rights organisation Open Rights Group lead the legal challenges. 

Speaking on the subject she said: "I have been telling the mayor since 2019 that sharing this data with the police is wrong and that Londoners must have their say in any decision.

"With so many awful revelations bringing trust and confidence in our police to an all-time low, Londoners should have been asked if they would trust them with this massive database about their daily movements"

In 2014, when Boris Johnson was Mayor of London, he granted the Met limited access to ANPR cameras. 

Mayor Khan later shared that the ULEZ would include the whole of inner London and later announced plans to expand the zone to all of Greater London, seeing the Met have access to the surveillance database for the areas affected too. 

Executive Director of the Open Rights Group Jim Killock, said: “Sadiq Khan has taken a decision that violates the basic privacy rights of millions of Londoners. 

“London is one of the most surveilled cities in the world and with plans to expand the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) to cover the whole of Greater London from the end of 2023, every single car, driver and pedestrian in Greater London will be subject to surveillance by the Metropolitan Police, yet Londoners have had no say in this.

“We believe that the use of these camera, in particular by the police, should be subject to extremely rigorous oversight and deployed only after proper consultation."

The Met has since defended the use of data saying it would help the force protect the public. 

A spokesman for the Mayor of London, said: “Modern technology has a vital role to play in protecting Londoners and tackling serious crime. The use of traffic cameras for ANPR has been in place since 2015 after being introduced by the previous Mayor. We are considering the letter and will respond in due course.”