Wednesday, February 21, 2024
HomeNewsBacklash at Sadiq Khan as 115,000 foreign drivers don't bother paying ULEZ...

Backlash at Sadiq Khan as 115,000 foreign drivers don't bother paying ULEZ fines


More than 100,000 non-UK residents have not yet paid their ULEZ fines, dealing yet another blow to London mayor Sadiq Khan as anger over what critics have branded a “stealth tax” mounts.

Data has indicated that Transport for London (TfL) issued a total of 167,663 ULEZ fines to vehicles not registered in the UK.

To date, 30,520 of these have been cancelled – resulting in lost revenue totalling £4.98 million.

The remaining 115,048 – total value rougly £20 million – are classified as open cases – in other words, where the fines have not been paid and are being pursued, or are in process of being cancelled.

In other words, only 13 percent of all fines so far issued to non-UK registered vehicles in 2022 have been paid, according to the data commissioned by the Liberal Democrats.

Foreign vehicles are required to register with TfL when entering the ULEZ zone – expanded to cover the whole of the capital in August – otherwise they will be classified as non-compliant by default.

However, many motorists coming from the EU do not seem to have realised this, said Liberal Democrat London Assembly Member and Transport Spokesperson Caroline Pidgeon AM.

She told MyLondon: “It is worrying to see the extent of fines being issued to motorists entering London from the European Union.

“It is very clear that visitors are not being given clear information in advance of entering London and are then being faced with vigorous efforts to collect fines they had not been aware of.

“This information is clearly not being communicated well enough with ferry companies and Eurotunnel.

“If this issue is not solved it risks doing serious damage to London’s image as being open to visitors.”

Ms Pigeon added: “It is very clear that visitors are not being given clear information in advance of entering London and are then being faced with vigorous efforts to collect fines they had not been aware of.

“This information is clearly not being communicated well enough with ferry companies and Eurotunnel.

“If this issue is not solved it risks doing serious damage to London’s image as being open to visitors.”

TfL was only recently granted access to vehicle keeper details for France and the Netherlands via European Parking Collections.

In accordance with the controversial scheme, drivers of older, more polluting vehicles are required to pay £12.50 a day to enter London or face a fine of £180, which is cut by half if paid within 14 days.

Speaking to the Evening Standard yesterday, a father of three dubbed the “Blade Runner” vowed to continuing targeting the cameras, claiming to have destroyed a total of 150 so far along with like-minded activists.

He said: “It started off as a small group of people and it has gradually grown. The numbers have increased significantly.

“We are like a pack of lone wolves. We sometimes work together. We work in isolation. We all have this common goal.”

Asked what his message to Mr Khan was, he said: “We are not stopping until you stop – that is the bottom line.”

A TfL spokesman said: “The requirement for non-UK vehicles to pre-register for our clean air zones has been in place for the past 15 years. We are always looking at how we can improve the experience for customers and raise awareness of the zones. Our website has everything customers need to know in 18 languages.

“We are working with the main ports and ferry companies so drivers know what to expect on arrival. Advertising appears at key motorway service stations, on petrol pumps and the Waze app, and Google maps provides information on where the zone operates. We also worked with all major foreign news agencies to publicise the requirements of the scheme.”

The spokesman continued: “The ULEZ is not about making money, it is vital in tackling the triple challenges of air pollution, the climate emergency and congestion. Only those with the most polluting vehicles will have to pay the charge, and these figures reflect the fact that individuals can accumulate multiple fines if their PCNs remain unpaid. Outstanding fines have been rescinded where the necessary evidence has been provided.”

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