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Overseas car drivers facing fines for entering the Low Emission Zone (1)

Questions to the Mayor of London – answered on 11th March 2020.

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Photo of Caroline Pidgeon Caroline Pidgeon Liberal Democrat

The LEZ is mostly aimed at lorries and vans which, if not compliant with the rules, are charged £100 a day. If the vehicle is from outside the UK and not registered with TfL beforehand I understand the fee is £200 a day. If it is not paid, it jumps to £500, then escalates to £750. On top of that, there are extra fees for the debt collectors. Will you investigate whether information about escalating fines is correctly communicated by TfL on its website and whether consideration is given to providing information in different languages? Will you also investigate whether accurate information is provided relating to cars which on some occasions are included?

Photo of Sadiq Khan Sadiq Khan Mayor of London

The London wide Low Emission Zone (LEZ) has been in operation since 2008 and, as evidenced by the very high compliance levels with the required emissions standards, is now fully embedded.

Larger vehicles such as Heavy Goods Vehicles, lorries, buses and coaches that do not comply with the relevant emissions standards are subject to a £200 daily charge or £1,000 Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) for non-payment of the charge. Smaller vehicles such as vans, minibuses, horseboxes and 4x4 light utility vehicles are subject to a £100 daily charge or a £500 PCN for non-payment. Penalties increase by 50 per cent if a PCN is not paid within statutory timescales. The relevant daily charges and PCN levels for vehicles registered overseas are the same as those that apply to UK registered vehicles.

Detailed information about the scheme is available on the Transport for London (TfL) website, explaining to vehicle owners how the LEZ operates, who is affected and the required emissions standards including how to pay if drivers wish to continue to use a vehicle that doesn’t meet the required emissions standards. The website also includes a vehicle checker which all drivers can use to check if their vehicle is affected.

Any driver who receives a PCN can challenge the PCN by making a representation. If a driver can show that their vehicle is compliant with the emissions standards, the PCN will be cancelled. TfL uses a debt recovery agent, EPC, to issue PCNs to the owners of vehicles registered outside the UK. EPC do not add any additional fees to the amount collected on behalf of TfL.