‘Blade runners’ fell Ulez cameras after Sadiq Khan’s re-election

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A pole holding traffic lights and a Ulez camera is sawn in half
A pole holding traffic lights and a Ulez camera is sawn in half

Anti-Ulez vigilantes known as “blade runners” have chopped down cameras used to police the clean-air scheme just hours after Sadiq Khan’s re-election.

The opponents of the Labour Mayor of London’s expansion of the ultra-low emission zone to outer boroughs have accused him of being “tyranny reigning over us” as they continued their attacks on the scheme.

Mr Khan won a record third term by an 11 per cent margin on Saturday, beating his rivals Susan Hall of the Conservatives and Reform UK’s Howard Cox who had made scrapping Ulez their top pledge.

But that has not swayed vigilantes who have launched another “purge” of the scheme’s infrastructure.

Critics claim the £12.50 daily charge on older polluting vehicles is hitting the poorest Londoners who rely on their cars, but supporters say it is vital to improving the city’s air quality.

Videos on TikTok appear to show that nine Ulez locations across the capital have been targeted in the hours since polls closed on Thursday and the announcement of Mr Khan’s victory.

A traffic light and Ulez camera raised to the ground after having been sprayed white
A traffic light and Ulez camera raised to the ground after having been sprayed with white paint

Matt Hardy claimed on Friday that after polls closed he had “reports flooding in this morning [that] there’s been a purge out there last night after this election”.

Describing Mr Khan as “a little rat”, Mr Hardy added: “Have some of that, it’s people pissed off about the tyranny reigning over us and getting out and doing things about it – real votes, real boys here.”

His video showed that traffic light poles holding Ulez number plate recognition cameras had been cut in half, spray-painted and toppled to the ground in Ickenham, Northwood and other parts of the borough of Hillingdon.

Elsewhere, he claimed power boxes supplying Ulez cameras and traffic lights were burnt in the suburban village Yiewsley on the outskirts of the capital.

Dan the Man with a Van

In another video, an anti-Ulez activist under the alias Dan the Man with a Van claimed three cameras had been toppled in Feltham, Hounslow, west London “hours after the election” on Saturday night.

“Khan’s been re-elected for the third time and look at that, Feltham have already chosen direct action – the whole pole has come down with the Ulez camera on it,” he told followers.

Those behind the attacks, who often operate at night, have begun slashing power supplies from entire traffic light junctions as their supporters claim traffic flows better without signals.

Last month, three Ulez cameras and traffic lights were cut down at one junction in Hillingdon with a St George’s Cross painted alongside one.

The Metropolitan Police recorded 795 crimes relating to Ulez cameras between April and September last year. There were 200 reports of cameras being stolen and 595 involved cameras being damaged.

Taxpayers are having to pick up the bill for repair teams and security patrols in the wake of the attacks which have persisted since the expansion last August.

Transport for London and Mr Khan’s office have been contacted for comment.

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