Majority of ULEZ Fines in Kent Unpaid Despite Threats and Controversial Expansion by London Mayor, Reveals New Report

Majority of ULEZ Fines in Kent Unpaid Despite Threats and Controversial Expansion by London Mayor, Reveals New Report

New Report: Majority of ULEZ Fines in Kent Remain Unpaid Since Controversial Expansion by London Mayor

Despite threats of bailiffs and fines, it has been revealed that the majority of ULEZ fines in Kent have gone unpaid since the expansion of the scheme by London Mayor Sadiq Khan last summer.

According to a KentOnline freedom of information request to Transport for London (TfL), only one quarter of the penalty charge notices (PCNs) issued in Kent have been paid since the ULEZ expansion in August 2022. This amounts to a loss of potential revenue of almost £10 million for TfL.

The Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) was first introduced in April 2019 as a way to combat air pollution in London, requiring drivers of high-emission vehicles to pay a daily charge of £12.50. Non-compliance can result in a penalty charge of £180, reduced to £90 if paid within two weeks.

However, the recent extension of the ULEZ to outer London and the home counties has sparked a backlash from motorists and was even the subject of an unsuccessful High Court challenge.

The low compliance rates in Kent are even worse near the London-Kent border, with only 13% of motorists in Bexley, Bromley, Dartford, and Gravesham paying their fines. In some areas, such as Crayford, only 13% of fines have been paid.

One Kent resident, who wished to remain anonymous, has received almost 50 PCNs for traveling in and out of the ULEZ border. Despite being a council tenant on universal credit, she has been ordered to pay thousands of pounds and set up a payment plan of £300 a month.

Another motorist, Alfie Fisher, who commutes from London to jobs in Kent, has also received multiple ULEZ fines and has had bailiffs turn up at his door. He has refused to pay the fines and says he won’t let it change his life.

In response to the low compliance rates, TfL has launched a campaign to raise awareness of the ULEZ expansion and how it operates. However, the debate over ULEZ continues, with a protest planned in Crayford this weekend and the issue becoming a key campaign topic in the upcoming London mayoral elections.

Dartford MP Gareth Johnson, who is opposed to the scheme, has also put forward a bill in Parliament to reverse the charge. Despite getting government backing, his attempt was blocked by Labour MPs.

In the year before the ULEZ expansion, almost 70,000 PCNs were issued to drivers in Kent, potentially generating over £6 million in revenue for TfL. However, the government body maintains that any income generated is reinvested into London’s transport network.

The ULEZ operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, every day of the year except Christmas Day.

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