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Ulez cameras painted red in Bromley in apparent backlash following scheme’s expansion

Ulez cameras have been vandalised with red paint after the scheme was expanded on Tuesday   (SWNS)
Ulez cameras have been vandalised with red paint after the scheme was expanded on Tuesday (SWNS)

Cameras used to enforce the controversial Ulez scheme have been vandalised after it was expanded to include all 32 London boroughs on Tuesday.

Four cameras in Bromley were painted red in a backlash against the scheme, which aims to reduce air pollution by charging non-compliant vehicles £12.50 a day to drive within an ultra-low-emission zone.

A Ulez sign and camera were also cut down in Harefield, west London.

Public opposition to Ulez has led to the formation of an anonymous activist group called the “Blade Runners”, who have vowed to take down all of the scheme’s cameras.

A damaged Ulez camera lying on the road in Hatfield (PA)
A damaged Ulez camera lying on the road in Hatfield (PA)

So far more than 380 have been targeted, with the Met Police reporting 185 destroyed cables, 164 stolen cameras, and 38 obscured.

It is not known if the Blade Runners are responsible for the latest wave of attacks.

It came as an official website for drivers to check whether their car will be liable for the Ulez charge was hit with technical difficulties due to high demand.

Drivers who fail to pay and are caught face a £180 penalty, reduced to £90 if paid within 14 days.

Transport for London’s (TfL) online tool shows those liable to the charge.

On Tuesday morning users were forced to queue as the site appeared to be overwhelmed. A message read: “Our website is busier than usual. You are now in a queue, and your expected wait time in 1 minute. If you prefer not to wait, please try again later.”

The camera has been vandalised (SWNS)
The camera has been vandalised (SWNS)

Mayor Sadiq Khan has resisted pressure from charities, Labour-supporting union bosses and even Leader of the Opposition Sir Keir Starmer to delay or ditch altogether the expansion during the cost-of-living crisis.

Tory-led councils in Kent, Surrey, Essex, Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire and Thurrock all refused to come to an agreement with Mr Khan to allow signs detailing Ulez charges to be built on the capital’s boundary roads.

Several of the councils insisted that they would only budge if the Mayor extended the scrappage scheme, which helps cover the cost of buying a compliant vehicle, to their residents.

TfL said nine out of ten cars and around eight in ten vans seen driving in outer London on an average day are already compliant.

TfL has been contacted for comment.