After the speeches, Cox seized the microphone to thank a chap standing alongside him in a hi-vis vest, saying: “Now give a big thanks to Risky Phil, who organised today’s meeting and the others leading up to it elsewhere around the M25.”
The subject of the congratulations urged everyone present to “keep up the good fight” before stepping off the bus and melting into the crowd.
I recognised him as one of the guys who had earlier waved me into the car park. Aspiring mayors and former parliamentarians aside, was Risky Phil the real power behind the anti-ULEZ campaign and others fought on behalf of disgruntled drivers and bikers down the years?
I had to know, which is how, a few days later, I found myself at Elliott’s home. I was keen to hear his story, but first I wanted to know why, living so far from London, he was so worked up about the ULEZ.
“Because people who live here and whose cars don’t meet the ULEZ regs but who have driven down to London on business or to see friends and family have told me that, before the scheme even goes live, they’ve received letters from Transport for London [TfL] warning them that it’s happening and that if they enter the zone when it has been expanded, they will be charged,” he explained.