Ulez expansion chaos as scaffolder wins £11,500 ruling over ‘unlawful’ signage

Noel Willcox and a Ulez sign

Noel Willcox won a landmark ruling

Ben Chapman

By Ben Chapman

Published: 28/08/2023

- 20:13

Noel Willcox racked up fines worth £11,500

A scaffolder has thrown Sadiq Khan’s Ulez scheme into chaos after winning a legal ruling that signs for its sister scheme are not lawful.

Noel Willcox, 48, accrued fines that reached a £11,500 total for driving a company truck to and from a depot in Harefield, North West London.

Under rules for London’s Low Emission Zone (Lez), drivers using highly polluting vans and HGVs must pay up to £300 a day.

Willcox refused to pay the fines and took his appeal to a tribunal, which ruled that Transport for London (TfL) signs for the Lez were not “authorised and lawful”.


Speaking on GB News, Willcox recalled the matter and questioned how people travelling to London from other parts of the country will be able to understand when charges apply.

“It was through the pandemic where we received £11,500 worth of fines”, he told Patrick Christys.


“One of my drivers was driving through the Lez and went through the cameras that nobody was aware of.

“All of a sudden, we ended up with £11,500 worth of fines, because on a HGV, you’re meant to pay £100 every time you go into the Lez, and if you didn’t pay that, you were given a £1,000 fine.

“Because of the pandemic, Royal Mail hadn’t delivered the post and we weren’t aware we were racking up these fines.

“If you don’t pay the £1,000 within a certain amount of time, you then pay £15,000.”

A Ulez signThe Ulez is expanding on August 29 PA

Willcox said that after taking the matter to TfL, they were informed that the “onus is on the driver” when it comes to checking where they are using their polluting vehicles.

“In this day and age, with the amount of roadworks and closures we’ve got, that’s near on impossible”, he said.

“It made me curious to know what these signs were, because it wasn’t clear to me that there was no visible signage to me that there was a charging scheme in place.

“That took me on a journey where I looked at the Road Traffic Regulations Act. In the regulation, it categorically states that there should be a red and a white ‘C’.

“When you go over the Dartford charge, there is a lot of warning that you are going to be charged.

“There is a boundary on the floor that says you’re in the charging zone. I drew the comparisons and I thought, why is it that Lez just says Lez?

“So how is anybody from Nottingham or anywhere outside of London meant to know when they are being charged?”

TfL insisted that the signs were deemed lawful by the Department of Transport over a decade ago and are looking into why certain evidence was not submitted.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan’s controversial expansion of the Ultra Low Emission Zone [Ulez] comes into effect tomorrow.

It will be expanded to include the whole of the capital, making it the world’s largest polluting charging area.

People who drive in the zone in a vehicle that does not meet minimum emissions standards are required to pay a £12.50 daily fee or risk a £180 fine, reduced to £90 if paid within 14 days.

A £160 million scheme run by Transport for London (TfL) enables residents, small businesses, sole traders and charities scrapping non-compliant cars to claim grants.

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