Blade Runner vigilante vows to sabotage Ulez as he declares: 'I won't stop until all Khan's cameras are gone!'

Blade Runner vigilante

Blade Runner vigilante

GB News
Ray Addison

By Ray Addison

Published: 06/09/2023

- 06:01

Updated: 06/09/2023

- 11:05

GB News exclusively speaks to Lee -not their real name - a 'Blade Runner' who says 'Ulez is a war on the working classes'

“Lee” is one of an estimated 100 Blade Runner vigilantes, fighting back by sabotaging Ulez.

Over the last 12 months, Lee says he has personally disabled more than 60 cameras himself - including “five or six” since the scheme was expanded.

Since August 29, drivers whose vehicles don't meet minimum emissions standards have been forced to pay £12.50 per day – or face fines of up to £180.

In response, Blade Runners like Lee have chosen to retaliate. According to the Met, crimes relating to Ulez cameras rocketed by 77 per cent in August, reaching 510 by August 31, with 159 cameras being stolen and 351 damaged.


Crowd-sourced data suggests that figure could be even higher, with 756 recorded cases of vandalism.

Justifying his controversial direct action, Lee exclusively told GB News: “It is a war on working-class people, the poorest people, the ones who can't afford a compliant car. It's a tax on the poor.”

“Three of the cameras were literally outside my house. So that was a pretty simple day for me… The other two were just down the road.”

“It's an ongoing battle... I've designed my own cutting device… Before it was probably taking me about a minute or two. Now I can disable a camera within about 10 seconds.”

“It’s not just down to us as a group now… You’re going to see a rise in it (vandalism) gradually over the next two to three weeks.”

A spokesperson for Transport for London is quick to point out the dangers to those who join the Blade Runners.

“Criminal damage to Ulez cameras puts the perpetrators at risk of prosecution and life-changing injuries, while simultaneously risking the safety of the public.”

To try to combat the Blade Runners, TfL has introduced defensive armour around the cameras, but Lee isn’t deterred saying, “There's always going to be a flaw in the design”.

Slashed Ulez camera

Slashed Ulez camera

GB News

The actions of Lee and other Blade Runners is taking a financial toll.

Expanding Ulez has already cost TfL an estimated £160m, and that number is set to grow as it is forced to keep making costly repairs.

Lee believes he has the public’s support despite the expense.

“I think if you were to ask a taxpayer, what would they rather pay? Would they rather pay for someone like me to pull them (the cameras) down or would they rather pay to put them up. I would imagine I'd probably win that.”

Lee is helped by an active online community, that provides information about the whereabouts of London's 2,692 Ulez cameras. He uses that data to choose his next target.

“I will normally go around on the groups to see posts or pictures that people have put up of cameras, particularly the new ones. If they've just been put up in certain areas near to where I live… I'll arrange a date as to when I will go out and I will deal with that camera on that specific evening.”

Despite his decision to risk imprisonment by engaging in direct action himself, Lee would rather Londoners find a political solution by ousting Mayor Khan in May 2024.

“I've never encouraged people to do it, but I would encourage people to make sure that they vote at the next election. If you want a different result to the way you're living at the moment, that's what you've got to do.”

Sadiq KhanSadiq Khan has faced mounting pressure for his expansion of UlezPA

However, Lee does not think that Sadiq Khan is solely to blame for Ulez.

Although the Prime Minister denies it, Lee believes Rishi Sunak has the authority to block the extension and is instead using it as a political tool against Labour.

“They're playing the blame game… He's Prime Minister, isn't he? I mean… if you're Prime Minister of the country, then surely you have the most amount of power? It's about time someone actually just stuck their foot down and said ‘this is how it's going to be, this is not going to happen’.”

Despite claims by TfL that the Ulez expansion will enhance the health of an additional five million residents of outer London, Lee believes Sadiq Khan is ignoring the real cause of Londoner’s ill health, particularly in areas such as Islington and Harrow.

“There's video evidence of people living in houses with black mould and mushrooms growing off the wall. So, this notion that there are 4000 deaths a year from car pollution… is utter nonsense.”

Other groups, though, would strongly disagree. At the climate action organisation Possible, Leo Murray serves as Director of Innovation.

“Basically, about half of the air pollution, the stuff that’s in the air that is dangerous to human health out in the environment, not inside our homes. About half of that comes from motor traffic. So this is not in dispute. This is extremely well-understood science.”

But Lee claims the Ulez expansion is not really about clean air.

He believes it is part of future plans to charge motorists for every mile they drive - even if their car is compliant.

“We all know that this is a general step in the direction of pay-per-mile. And to orchestrate pay-per-mile, you need cars with GPS tracking. So, in essence, what they're doing is they're literally setting you up for tracking your movement, your whereabouts of where you go, where you park, what you shop.”

Speaking in a previous interview with GB News, Sadiq Khan denied that allegation.

“As long as I’m Mayor there will be no pay-per-mile scheme.”

A Ulez signThe Ulez was expanded on August 29 PA

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for TfL said: “The Ulez is not about making money and annual net revenue from Ulez will fall below zero by 2026/27 as compliance increases.”

But Lee feels this proves his point, saying it makes no sense for TfL to spend tens of millions of pounds on a scheme that will only last three to four years.

“If we wake up tomorrow and every car in London is compliant, these cameras are now obsolete. So, what are they going to be used for? They're going to be used for pay-per-mile. That's why the cameras are on every single traffic light, and most traffic lights are about a mile apart.”

Possible’s Leo Murray agrees that road user pricing is inevitable.

“The switch to electric vehicles that is now rapidly on the way means that the Treasury is going to have a growing multibillion-pound hole in its budgets from the loss of fuel duty…. What is needed is a replacement for that lost tax revenue that has to come from motorists.”

Now, a week after the Ulez expansion, Lee has a message for Sadiq Khan.

“Stop being ridiculous. Stop manipulating the public. Stop lying. Just be honest with what your agenda is. And if you're so confident in the fact that the scheme will work, then put it to a public vote. Ask everyone in London if you want this or not. And I think you'll be surprised about the result.”

He’s also adamant that the Blade Runners will not stop their sabotage.

“He's banking on the fact that people are just going to accept it, like the smoking ban, or the congestion charge. But he's barking up the wrong tree… There's enough of us. We're not going to give up until all the cameras are gone.”

GB News would like to make it absolutely clear that it does not condone or encourage illegal behaviour.

Despite admitting dozens of acts of illegal vandalism Lee refuses to accept that he is a criminal.

“I'm not a criminal in any way shape or form. I'm just doing what I believe is right. And I’ll stand by that and I’ll sit on that hill until I’m not allowed to.”

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