Hundreds of Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) cameras have been vandalized by a vigilante group that opposes the controversial scheme, which extended across wider London this week and charges road users for traveling in non-compliant vehicles.
The scheme is part of London Mayor Sadiq Khan’s green agenda to enhance the air quality across the U.K. capital; however, many critics of its extension into London’s suburbs consider it to be a regressive tax and cash grab that will hit working families the hardest.
A vigilante group known as the Blade Runners has been targeting newly installed cameras across the capital in a bid to disrupt the implementation of ULEZ as much as possible, and hundreds of cameras have already been hit.
Prior to the roll-out, which came into force on Tuesday, around 500 cameras had been marked as out of action or damaged, according to a map the vigilante group promoted. Many of the cameras targeted were located in London’s southeast with 156 of the 185 cameras around the districts of Sydenham and Sidcup being hit, as well as 18 of the 22 cameras installed in Bromley.
The camera map, published on a popular anti-ULEZ Facebook page, allows users to update it when a camera has been rendered out of action. The black pins represent cameras that are now missing or damaged.
In the southeast town of Orpington, just two of the new number plate recognition cameras were in working order on the day of the ULEZ expansion after vigilantes smashed, spray-painted, or cut the wires of 14 cameras on a single road.
Video footage and photographs of disruptors vandalizing the cameras have been published on social media, much to the delight of those critical of the scheme.
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