A “Blade Runner” activist blocked the view of an ultra-low emission zone (Ulez) camera by pretending to break down in front of it.
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.
But the positioning of the vehicle and boot door directly blocked the automatic number plate camera positioned on top of the Ulez van, meaning it could not catch any motorists.
It is the latest escalation by activists determined to thwart Mayor of London Sadiq Khan’s highly controversial expansion of the £12.50 daily charge for older vehicles across the capital.
With Ulez cameras being stolen, vandalised or painted over throughout the city, the Labour mayor has deployed vans with cameras - but these are now being targeted too, with the tyres of some vehicles deflated.
A new tactic by Blade Runners - as the anti-Ulez activists call themselves - is to box in enforcement vans with larger vans so that the cameras cannot scan the road, as The Telegraph revealed last week.
A video of the unknown activist staging the apparently mock breakdown, which is thought to have been filmed within the past week, has been viewed more than one million times on TikTok.
In the footage, a Ulez security car, of the type which 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”.
Tactics ‘won’t stop Ulez’
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.
Police officers were seen pouncing and arresting another activist who was allegedly attempting block in an ANPR van on a different London road last week, prompting hilarity from passing pedestrians and raising questions over the Met’s priorities.
In another video, a Blade Runner can be seen blocking a Ulez camera van with a placard reading “No Ulez”, before staff give up and drive away.
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.”