Ulez revolt: The county bordering London where 75 PER CENT of fines remain unpaid

Ulez revolt: The county bordering London where 75 PER CENT of fines remain unpaid

Watch: GB News' Nigel Farage on Ulez protests

GB News
James Saunders

By James Saunders

Published: 15/04/2024

- 14:25

Updated: 15/04/2024

- 14:51

One resident, who drives in and out of London for work, said: "I haven't paid anything and I won’t ever pay it; I don’t agree with it. I won’t let it change my life"

The controversial Ulez clean air scheme has been panned as "daylight robbery" by drivers in Kent after it emerged that just a quarter of the fines handed out in the county have been paid.

Since its rollout across the entirety of Greater London in August 2023 by Mayor Sadiq Khan, the scheme has seen significant backlash - and its expansion has left motorists in London's bordering counties slapped with tens of thousands of fines, according to new figures.

In total, 54,571 Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs) have been applied to drivers in Kent alone since last summer's expansion - but almost 75 per cent of these have not been paid, a Freedom of Information (FOI) request by local outlet KentOnline has revealed.

Just over 14,000 fines have been paid since August, the FOI found - with a mere 26 having been successfully appealed.

Ulez sign/Sadiq Khan

Sadiq Khan's expansion of the Ulez scheme has seen tens of thousands of fines issued to drivers in Kent


The data showed that drivers closer to the London-Kent border were even less likely to pay their PCNs - a lowly 13 per cent of fines were paid by motorists with addresses in Bexley, Bromley, Dartford and Gravesham.

But TfL was keen to stress that the numbers were not "reflective of the total number of individual vehicles that have been subject to a PCN", telling KentOnline that the statistics included notices handed out to the same vehicle on multiple occasions.

If the thousands of outstanding PCNs in Kent were settled, TfL could expect to receive £9.82million, or just under £5million if the charges were paid in 14 days.

The expansion has left some residents at the mercy of bailiffs after falling foul of the scheme's restrictions; one woman was handed almost 50 fines for driving in and out of Crayford.


Sadiq Khan Ulez

The £12.50-per-day scheme has seen significant backlash from Londoners for being unaffordable


Despite the daily Ulez charge standing at £12.50 for non-compliant vehicles, the mother-of-three has been unable to pay the fines, and has been told to shell out thousands of pounds to cover the cost.

She said she relied on her monthly universal credit payment of £839 to provide for herself and her young children - but even after explaining her situation to officers, she has been told to set up a £300-per-month payment plan to settle the debt.

She told KentOnline: "It's daylight robbery and I’ve not even polluted London air, as I only travel as far as Crayford - but apparently this comes under a London borough."

But other drivers in Kent are refusing to pay the charges altogether; Alfie Fisher, 26, commutes from London to Kent for his construction job, and claims he "won't ever pay" for the scheme.

Fisher said he had received "countless letters" and has had bailiffs arrive at his home - but he has turned them away.

The 26-year-old added: "I haven't paid anything and I won’t ever pay it; I don’t agree with it. I won’t let it change my life.

"I've had countless letters though - I've got a huge pile of them dedicated to Ulez. It makes me laugh."

A TfL spokesperson told GB News: "Before the Ulez expanded, TfL held a public consultation which had nearly 58,000 responses and has helped us shape the scheme.

"This included taking on board the views of people outside of the capital, informed by an Integrated Impact Assessment which considered the impact on cross boundary trips.

"In January 2023, TfL launched an extensive, multi-channel campaign targeting Londoners and Home Counties drivers to raise awareness and to explain who is affected, where the expanded zone will operate and how the scheme operates including hours of operations, daily charge and how to pay.

"We ran similar campaigns when the Ulez was introduced in 2019 and previously expanded in 2021."

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