Thursday 20 February 2020 2:52 pm

London drivers pay £70m in Ulez charges

London’s drivers have been hit by £70.4m in charges and fines in the eight months since the Ultra-Low Emissions Zone (Ulez) charge was introduced in the capital.

The data, which was obtained through a FOI request from car insurance provider By Miles, has revealed that drivers have paid out £48.9m in charges and £21.5m in fines since the zone was brought in.

Read more: TfL deficit shrinks thanks to Ulez and increased Tube numbers

The daily Ulez charge for cars and small vehicles to drive within the zone is £12.50. Thus far there have been 3.4m individual charges, an average of three per car.

An individual fine, on the other hand, can cost drivers as much as £160, which can be reduced to £80 in cases of swift payment.

The highest number of penalties accrued by a single vehicle under the Ulez charge is 165, which would cost the owner £13,200 at the prompt payment rate.

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There is no automatic notification system in place to remind drivers that they have entered the zone, and no way of retrospectively checking – meaning drivers are dependent on themselves to remember to pay the charge before the same day midnight deadline.

In all, it is estimated that the central London Ulez will generate a total of £213m in charges and penalties by the end of its first year.

James Blackham, co-founder of By Miles, said: “While the Ulez zone is a positive step towards tackling climate change and improving air quality in the city, it’s clear that it is causing considerable confusion among drivers in the capital.

Read more: Ulez charge drastically cuts London’s air pollution

“Many are unaware where zones start and finish, and the tight timeframe you’re given to pay the fee if you accidentally pass through it is costing unsuspecting motorists millions.

“The £21.5m issued in penalty notices won’t help to get motorists behind what is an important mission so, after falling foul of the penalty charge ourselves, we wanted to give drivers a tool to help them pay charges that are owed and avoid a punishing penalty charge