Vandals sabotage controversial pollution cameras meant to police Sadiq Khan's ULEZ zone

"Should not be there in the first place!" said one angry resident

Newly installed cameras which will police Sadiq Khan's controversially expanded Ultra Low Emission Zone have been vandalised. The latest attack was on three cameras mounted above traffic lights at Knee Hill, Abbey Wood in south London. A cable at the back of the cameras was cut and other attacks have seen cameras sprayed with paint.

The devices are linked to computers which will read number plates and issue fines to drivers whose vehicles fail to comply with ULEZ rules.

More than 2,700 ULEZ cameras are being installed in outer London boroughs ahead of the scheme's August launch. The mayor's plan to include all of Greater London in a clean air zone has proved a furious backlash.

ULEZ camera in south London. Credit: ITV News

Four Tory-controlled London boroughs - Bromley, Bexley, Harrow and Hillingdon - along with Surrey County Council have launched a legal challenge. Some London Labour MPs have also joined calls for the ULEZ expansion to be postponed because of the cost of living crisis.

Motorists of older cars and vans which fail to meet modern emissions standards face a daily £12.50 fee to drive anywhere in London. Mr Khan says 4,000 Londoners die prematurely because of toxic air.

A spokesperson for the Mayor of London said: "It is deeply disappointing to see opposition to a policy being used as an excuse for criminal damage. This petty vandalism of London’s essential transport infrastructure is completely unacceptable."

London Assembly Tories who have been among the fiercest critics of the ULEZ expansion condemned the vandalism. City Hall Conservatives' leader Susan Hall said: "While Sadiq Khan is wrong to put cameras up and go against what the people of outer London want, vandalising cameras and doing stuff against the law is unacceptable and should be stopped.

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