Anti-Ulez 'Blade Runner' activist 'pretends to break down' to block camera and stop it camera catching motorists

26 September 2023, 13:39

Blade Runner activist stages mock break-down to block Ulez camera
Blade Runner activist stages mock break-down to block Ulez camera. Picture: social media

By StephenRigley

An anti-Ulez 'Blade Runner' took a mobile camera van out of action by pretending to breakdown in front of it.

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The man parked his red Renault Captur directly behind an enforcement van on a London road and opened his car boot as if he was in need of roadside assistance – while also placing a warning triangle on the ground.

Man's car 'breaks down' in front of Ulez camera

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But the positioning of the car directly behind the automatic number plate camera on top of the van meant it could not catch rule-breakers of the capital's controversial Ulez scheme.

The action is the latest move by activists targeting London Mayor Sadiq Khan's levy which was rolled out to cover the whole of London last month. it means drivers of older vehicles are charged £12.50 a day to enter the city.

Ulez opponents, known as 'Blade Runners' have been tearing down, stealing or vandalising the cameras prompting Mr Khan to roll out a fleet of enforcement vehicles to catch those flouting the rules.

These are now being targeted too, with the tyres of some vehicles deflated.

Footage of the latest tactic to obscure the view of the vans has since notched up more than a million views on TikTok.

In the footage, a Ulez security car, of the type that are now often spotted accompanying enforcement vans, is seen pulling up at the scene – before a visibly agitated official steps out.“Look, look, look – you can’t put this in front of the camera,” the security guard is heard shouting in the video.

The activist responds: “Why not?” as he insists he “just broke down – got to call the RAC”.

The Ulez worker manning the van and the security guard then shut his car boot to free up the camera’s line of sight, prompting the activist to respond: “I’m allowed to do it mate, I’m letting motorists know that the car has broken down, alright?”

He adds: “Leave my car alone, take your a-- out of the way of my car.”

When the security guard insists that he pushes the car out of the Ulez camera’s path, the activist replies: “No, you ain’t pushing jack s---.”

Later in the clip, the Ulez staff are heard saying they will call the police. The outcome of the altercation is not known.

It comes as Blade Runners activists are ramping up their attempts to sabotage the scheme.

Transport for London said the tactics “will not stop the Ulez operating London-wide”.

A spokesman added: “Nine out of 10 cars seen driving in the zone won’t have to pay a penny and for any Londoner impacted, thousands of pounds of help is available.”