UK drivers set for refunds after thousands wrongly fined due to 'technical error'

Vehicles travel along the M1 motorway near Nottingham

Vehicles travel along the M1 motorway near Nottingham

Jack Walters

By Jack Walters

Published: 28/07/2023

- 14:59

Almost 5,000 motorists could receive refunds caused by Clean Air Zones (CAZ)

Drivers look set to receive refunds after thousands were wrongly fined due to a “technical error”.

The technical error arose after the CAZ fines were issued with the wrong date.

Impacted drivers need to have taken to the roads of Sheffield when clocks went forward to British Summer Time from Greenwich Mean Time on March 26.

Sheffield City Council attributed the technical fault to a third-party supplier.

Sheffield Cathedral in Sheffield, South Yorkshire

Sheffield Cathedral in Sheffield, South Yorkshire


The issue led cameras to slap cars issued with non-compliant fines with the incorrect date.

The Steel City will repay fines with the correct time stamp from March 26 until April 6.

However, reports have revealed there was also one additional case on April 12.

Sheffield Council will retain the cost of the CAZ charge for those who have already paid the fee.

But motorists who have coughed up the cash already will receive a refund for the outstanding amount.

New fines will be issued to drivers who have outstanding fines.

Cars travelling on a motorwayCars travelling on a motorwayPA

Those motorists will have 13 days to pay the initial CAZ charge but will not be required to pay the additional penalty.

Sheffield City Council confirmed motorists will face the penalty charge if they did not take up the offer or submit an appeal during the 13 day period.

Drivers who drive within the CAZ zone during this 10-day period and already paid the charge are not impacted.

Fines totalling £500,000 were dished out across the 12-days.

Councillor Joe Otten, chair of waste and street scene committee, said: “We were disappointed to learn this technical error and staff from our third-party suppliers and the Council and have been working to rectify the issue.

"Affected drivers will be contacted by letter this week, outlining next steps.

Cars drive round the perimeter road at Heathrow AirportCars drive round the perimeter road at Heathrow AirportPA

“I urge motorists to keep an eye out for their letter so we can ensure this situation is resolved for everyone as soon as possible.

"To facilitate this process and manage enquiries we have set up a dedicated phone line and email address.

“These contact details will be included in the letters.

"We want to take this opportunity to apologise to all those that are impacted and for the inconvenience associated with this issue.”

Sheffield introduced carbon-curbing measures on motorists in February 2023.

The area covers the centre of the Steel City and the inner ring road.

Person driving car

Person driving car


CAZ rules do not apply to private cars and motorcycles.

However, all other polluting vehicles driving within the area must pay the levy.

Vans, LGVs and taxis will be charged at a rate of £10 per day.

Coaches, buses and HGVs will be charged at £50 per day.

A fine of £120 is issued for those who breach the zone.

The sum can drop to as low as £60 if paid within a fortnight.

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