‘Someone could have been killed’: ULEZ camera explosion leaves residents shaken

Residents of a quiet residential street have been left in shock after a ULEZ camera blew up in an explosion that “could have killed someone”.

Police, the London Ambulance Service (LAS) and firefighters from Eltham Fire Station responded to the scene in Willersley Avenue, Sidcup, at around 7pm last night.

A man who lives on the street – who asked not to be named – said: “I live 50 yards from the explosion. I was sitting at home then suddenly the whole house shook.

“We went out to have a look and the electric box had blown into someone’s van, a bus and a car behind the bus – there were two holes in one of the cars I could fit my fist through.”

The resident explained the explosion also damaged part of a brick wall next to where the camera had been installed.

He said: “If anyone was walking along they would have been killed. The bus driver was in the back of the fire engine being looked after – I think he was in shock.

“Everyone on the street had come out – we all thought our boilers had blown. It rocked every house.”

A spokeswoman from the London Fire Brigade (LFB) said: “A ULEZ camera, car and bus were damaged as a result of the incident. 

“One man was treated on scene by LAS crews.”

The man was discharged at the scene after being treated, the LAS said.

The resident said people on the street believe the camera was cut down shortly before the explosion. But police forensics remain at the scene as the Met continues its enquiries into the incident.

Part of a brick wall was damaged in the explosion (Picture: @dannydervito)

The explosion comes as tensions over ULEZ continue to rise across the capital. 

The resident said: “Why are these cameras here? It’s too much for the outer suburbs – the charge is being put on people who can’t afford it – we don’t have the money at the moment – I don’t agree with it at all

“There are bigger things Mr Khan should be worrying about.”

This week, Gareth Johnson, Member of Parliament for Dartford in Kent, introduced a bill to parliament to give the government power to overturn the expansion of ULEZ.

The private member’s bill  – a public bill introduced by MPs who are not government ministers – had its first reading in the House of Commons on Wednesday.

Earlier this year, in July, the High Court ruled the ULEZ expansion was lawful after a case was brought against Sadiq Khan’s plans by Bromley, Bexley, Hillingdon and Harrow councils.

After the ruling Councillor Baroness O’Neill, leader of Bexley council, said: “The fact that the Mayor of London has got his way and that his ULEZ expansion plan is to go ahead is devastating for the whole of outer London. 

“This is especially true for Bexley because of our lack of transport links.”

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan (Picture: PA)

But Mr Khan continues to point out the positive impact of the scheme.

He said: “The ULEZ has already reduced toxic nitrogen dioxide air pollution by nearly half in central London and a fifth in inner London. 

“The expansion will see five million more Londoners being able to breathe cleaner air.”

A spokesman from the Met said: “No arrests have been made and enquiries are ongoing.

“Anyone with information that could assist with the investigation is encouraged to call 101 quoting CAD 5819/06DEC.

“Similarly, anyone who sees anyone or anything suspicious by or on a ULEZ camera should not approach and should contact the police.”

Pictured top: Image showing damage to a nearby van and the dismantled ULEZ camera following the explosion last night (Picture: @dannydervito)

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