Major Ulez U-turn could see drivers who breach strict rules avoid daily charges

A Ulez sign

Drivers who breach Ulez rules could avoid fines

Felix Reeves

By Felix Reeves

Published: 22/08/2023

- 13:11

Updated: 22/08/2023

- 13:14

Petrol and diesel drivers in London could escape fines once the Ulez scheme is expanded

Motorists who do not comply with the emissions standards of the expanding Ultra Low Emission Zone scheme could initially escape fines.

The Ulez is set to expand across Greater London on August 29 despite widespread criticism from motorists in and around the capital.

Transport for London said it could use “discretion” to issue warning letters instead of handing out penalty charge notices for motorists.

The AA has previously said it was “essential” that drivers do not receive fines “until the system beds in” across the newly expanded areas.

A busy road

The Ulez scheme will expand again on August 29


Speaking to PA, a spokesperson for Transport for London said the organisation had the ability to issue warnings to drivers before fines.

It said: “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.”

The zone, which will expand later this month, will soon encompass everything within the North and South Circular roads.

Those who do not meet emissions standards are required to pay a £12.50 daily charge, which could rise to as much as £180 if the penalty charge notice is not paid within a certain amount of time.

Edmund King, president of the AA, 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.”

Experts have suggested that “huge numbers” could take their complaints to a tribunal if TfL decides to turn down their appeals to have their fines cancelled.

Some clean air zones and low emission zones across the country started with a “grace period” to give drivers more time to adhere to the standards.

Aberdeen, Dundee and Edinburgh all launched low emission zones to deal with pollution in the cities last year.


A Ulez sign

TfL said it "reserves the right to use discretion to issue a warning notice instead of a penalty charge notice"


However, as part of a phased rollout, non-compliant drivers will not be charged to drive in the city centre until May or June next year.

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