The AA has warned Transport for London (TfL) not to fine drivers who breach London’s newly expanded ultra-low emission zone (ULEZ, but initially warn them
It is “essential” that drivers are simply warned they entered into a ULEZ zone as they may “not even know they are in the zone,” and do this until the “system beds in.”
On 29 August Sadiq Khan’s ULEZ expansion scheme will include North and South Circular roads which cover all of Greater London.
TfL told the PA news agency that they can use their “discretion” when issuing warnings instead of penalty charge notices (PCNs) to start with.
Any person that drives their car in the ULEZ zone must pay a daily charge of £12.50 within three days, if their vehicle does not meet the minimum emissions standards, failure to pay will result in a £180 fine, reduced to 390 if paid within two weeks.
The AA are warning that there could be many drivers who simply are unaware of that they have entered into a zone and could be penalised unfairly.
AA president Edmund King said, “It is essential that TfL sends out warning letters to drivers not complying with the ULEZ until the system beds in.
“We know that there is a widespread lack of signage outside the current zone in areas such as Hertfordshire, so fining drivers who don’t even know they are in the zone would backfire.
“Drivers need fair warning of when they are about to enter the ULEZ or when they are on a road that will take them into the zone if they stay on it.
“If TfL do not send out warnings they will be deluged with complaints from drivers.
“If they turn down appeals to have fines cancelled, huge numbers will take their complaints to the traffic penalties tribunal.”
TfL said in a statement, “TfL reserves the right to use discretion to issue a warning notice instead of a penalty charge notice.
“However, we would advise anyone driving a non-compliant vehicle in the zone to pay the charge to avoid the risk of being fined.”