Sadiq Khan tightens the squeeze on drivers: Mayor deploys fleet of Ulez camera vans to catch drivers after vigilantes launched more than 500 attacks on CCTV units monitoring the expanded £12.50-a-day zone
- Mobile units deployed in non-compliance hotspot areas such as Heathrow
A fleet of Ulez camera vans have been deployed in a fresh bid to catch charge dodgers.
Drivers whose vehicles don’t meet the emissions standards who refuse to pay the £12.50 could now be caught out by cameras mounted on vans.
Mobile units have been spotted on the approach to Heathrow, hidden next to a sign near the Western Perimeter Roundabout checking vehicles as they come off the M25.
The west London airport is now within the Ulez zone following the Mayor’s expansion of the scheme which took effect on Tuesday.
It comes amid a large wave of attacks on CCTV units, with over 500 of the 2,700 ANPR cameras reported to have been destroyed or disconnected by anti-Ulez vigilantes.
According to TfL’s data protection impact assessment, the new mobile units can be move between boroughs on any given day, so can be deployed to high non-compliance spots – such as outside Britain’s busiest airport.
Although they can’t catch number plates while moving, they detect vehicles which haven’t complied with the rules from the roadside.
The vans are marked with a camera symbol on the rear doors along with the blue TfL roundel.
The Ulez charge operates every day of the year except Christmas Day, and failure to pay can attract a £180 fine, or £90 if paid within seven days.
Sadiq Khan’s scheme has attracted large opposition, although residents, charities, small traders and small businesses are able to scrap non-compliant cars to claim grants thanks to a £160million scheme run by TfL.
But in an effort to dodge the charge, vigilantes have vandalised cameras, including spraying them with paint, dismantling them and cutting their wires.
Maps showing the scale of the disruption show Bromley as the worst hit area, with a huge 83 per cent of its cameras reported either damaged or missing.
Boroughs including Sutton, Bexley and Lewisham have also been among those hit hard by the anti-Ulez campaign.