Thousands of motorists have been fined for not paying the daily charge to drive London’s Ultra Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ).
The ULEZ operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week within the same area of central London as the Congestion Charge. The £12.50 charge has to be paid by drivers of older cars and vans (up to 3.5 tonnes) that don’t meet the minimum emissions standards of Euro 4 (petrol) or Euro 6 (diesel).
Those who fail to pay the charge by midnight on the next working day are handed an £80 fine, which doubles to £160 if not paid within 14 days.
One in four drivers of non-compliant cars has been penalised by the new restrictions, Motoring Research reports.
Since the ULEZ was introduced in April this year, around 130,000 drivers have been fined for not paying the daily charge. The figures mean that Transport for London (TfL) has collected £26m in penalties.
From 25 October 2021 more drivers will end up having to pay the charge — unless they get a newer vehicle — as the zone expands to an area bordered by the North and South Circular roads.
Petrol cars that meet the ULEZ standards are generally those first registered with the DVLA after 2005, although cars that meet the standards have been available since 2001.
Diesel cars that meet the standards are generally those first registered with the DVLA after September 2015.
TfL launched an information campaign more than a year before the zone came into effect, but critics say that awareness levels are still not high enough.
Nicholas Lyes, head of roads policy at the RAC, said: “It is worrying there have been 130,000 fines in three months.
“There is more that needs to be done by the Mayor to raise awareness of what the ULEZ means to drivers and businesses before he expands the area it covers.”
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