British motorists saved from money-grabbing councils with new plans to tackle unfair driving fines

British motorists saved from money-grabbing councils with new plans to tackle unfair driving fines

WATCH: Mark Harper outlines the Plan for Drivers

Hemma Visavadia

By Hemma Visavadia

Published: 18/03/2024

- 10:18

Drivers will be able to respond to the consultation until May 11

The Department for Transport has launched a call for evidence over the number of drivers who are unfairly punished by councils accused of a money-grabbing fining culture.

The consultation will run until May 11 with drivers encouraged to give evidence and share their stories of unfair local authority fines.

The need for change was sparked by drivers who complained that local authorities were being too "liberal" with penalties, not to make roads safer and easier to navigate, but to raise revenue.

In London, data showed that over seven million penalties were issued since March 2022. Out of 40,000 cases where drivers appealed, just under half were overturned.

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Parking fine

Drivers can face a £160 penalty for entering yellow box zones


Since 2003, London councils have been given more powers over moving traffic with the Government choosing to extend this power in 2020 to local authorities elsewhere in England.

Commenting on the consultation, Transport Secretary, Mark Harper, said: “Local councils know best where these powers are appropriate.

“If they want to use them they need to apply to the Secretary of State for Transport for permission. Only then can they begin enforcement using approved camera equipment.

“Councils have powers to enforce traffic regulations in order to ensure that our roads are safe for all users and that people can move about without undue interference.”

The call for evidence looks at an issue that even good councils, doing the right thing, are sometimes accused of, Harper added.

Drivers raised concerns that traffic management measures with penalty fees attached are there to raise money from motorists more than anything else.

Harper said he wanted to hear the views of local councils, but also motorists, motoring organisations and the public in general to get to the heart of the issue.

He stated that everyone with an interest will be given the opportunity to have their say on the matter.

Drivers can receive penalties for breaching no entry zones, no left or right turnings, using prohibited vehicles, unlawful entry into box junctions or driving in mandatory cycle lanes.

By giving councils the power to enforce, the department said it frees up police time while helping reduce traffic congestion.

However, enforcement should be undertaken proportionately and not used as a means to raise revenue, Harper added.

The maximum penalty for going through a no entry sign is a fine of up to £1,000 and three penalty points.


Person driving car

Over seven million penalties were issued since March 2022


On Transport for London red routes, drivers can face a £160 penalty for entering yellow box zones, although it will be reduced to £80 if paid within 14 days.

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