Ulez cameras attacked by masked vigilantes ahead of Sadiq Khan's expansion

An Ultra Low Emission Zone sign.

The Ulez expansion is set to take place later this month.

PA Wire.
Felix Reeves

By Felix Reeves

Published: 01/08/2023

- 13:26

Updated: 21/08/2023

- 12:21

The police are investigating a group of vandals who are attacking Ulez cameras around London.

Vandals have been spotted cutting wires and even stealing cameras around London in a bid to curtail Sadiq Khan’s Ulez expansion.

The group, who have described themselves as the “Blade Runners”, are believed to have damaged cameras on eight streets around Chiswick.

The masked vigilantes have attacked the Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras in recent months, with the Ulez expansion just weeks away.

While many people involved with the expansion of the Ultra Low Emission Zone, some on social media have heralded the group, with some even calling them “freedom fighters”.

Protestors outside of the High Court in July.

Protestors outside of the High Court in July.


In response to the sabotage, the Metropolitan Police have launched an operation to investigate the damage and find out who is responsible.

Katherine Dunne, deputy leader of Hounslow Council, slammed those responsible for damaging the equipment around the capital.

She added: “We strongly condemn any form of vandalism and this type of irresponsible behaviour has no place within our community.”

This is not the first time the Met has had to deal with the vandals following videos on social media showing vandals claiming to have a number of Ulez cameras in their possession.

Speaking in June, Detective Superintendent Daniel Smith said the police were “continuing to proactively target anyone we suspect of causing or seeking to cause damage”.

The Ulez scheme will expand again on August 29, 2023, with the zone set to cover all London boroughs.

Drivers of older, more polluting cars could be hit with expensive daily charges of £12.50 if their vehicles do not meet strict emissions regulations.

Petrol drivers require their vehicles to meet Euro 4 standards, which apply to all new cars registered in 2005.

Diesel motorists face far more strenuous restrictions, with most cars manufactured before September 2015 potentially being charged to drive in London.

As of March 2023, Transport for London has around 1,400 cameras in place around the capital for Ulez enforcement, with some cameras also being used for the Congestion Charge and the Low Emission Zone.

The High Court recently ruled that the Ulez expansion could go ahead, despite strong opposition from a coalition of councils around London who have called on London Mayor Sadiq Khan to scrap the extension.

Following the verdict, Bexley Council questioned whether Sadiq Khan and TfL would win the same case in the “court of public opinion”, saying the expansion would damage residents and businesses in outer London.


Cars driving past a Ulez sign.

The expanded ULEZ will cover all London boroughs.

PA Wire.

Councillor Baroness O’Neill of Bexley OBE, Leader of the London Borough of Bexley, said: “I’d like to thank the coalition members for all the hard work they have put into this battle - I know they are as saddened today as I am.

“I now call on the Mayor to do the right thing by outer London and delay the implementation.”

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