One in four new Ulez cameras already 'damaged or stolen' only days after expansion

31 August 2023, 23:50

Many of the new Ulez cameras have been damaged or are missing
Many of the new Ulez cameras have been damaged or are missing. Picture: Alamy

By Kit Heren

One in four of the new cameras used to enforce London's expanded ultra-low emission zone has been damaged or is missing, a crowd-sourced map suggests.

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At least 450 new cameras out of 1,762 are out of action, according to Julie's Ulez Map, which uses crowd-sourced data to track the condition of the cameras.

The Ulez, which aims to improve air quality, was expanded on Tuesday to cover London in its entirety, amid anger from some motorists who now have to pay a fee.

Vehicles that do not meet minimum emissions standards are liable for a £12.50 daily charge if they are used anywhere in London.

Some angry activists, including a group that call themselves the Blade Runners, have resorted to vandalism to take the cameras out of commission.

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Roughly one in five cameras are currently out of action in the Ulez as a whole, but this rises to one in four for the expanded zone in outer London.

The damaged cameras appear to be concentrated around south and south-east London. Bromley, Lewisham, Sutton and Bexley all have high rates of vandalism.

Police say 380 attacks on cameras have been reported to them since the start of the year.

Transport for London said: "Vandalism on our network is unacceptable and all incidents are reported to the police for investigation.

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

"Camera vandalism will not stop the Ulez operating London-wide. We have an extensive camera network which is sufficient to support the effective operation of the scheme.

"Anyone driving a non-compliant vehicle within the expanded zone will be detected, and we advise everyone to check whether their vehicle is compliant and to consider the various support that is available."

Julie's Ulez Map was set up in response to a lack of data from TfL on the location of the cameras.