Motorists to be clobbered by major hike in congestion charge fines

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London motorists face an inflation-busting hike in fines for failing to pay the congestion charge from £130 to £160.

The new charge – reduced to £80 if paid promptly – would also cover illegal turns and offences on red routes run by Transport for London. 

Announcing a consultation on the move, timed for early 2018, TfL said it was needed to combat an increase in law-breaking by motorists that had made roads slower and less safe.

City Hall denied the hike was needed to pay for mayor Sadiq Khan’s policy of freezing bus and Tube fares. However, it could raise between £22 million and £45 million from drivers.

In the past five years there has been a 12 per cent increase in the number of motorists being issued with Penalty Charge Notices, up from 1.3 million in 2011/12 to 1.5 million in 2016/17.

Paul Cowperthwaite, TfL’s general manager for road charging, said: “The overwhelming majority of motorists follow the rules. However we have seen a steady increase in the number of motorists flouting them so it is clear the current Penalty Charge Notice level is not as effective as it once was.”

Fines are issued for blocking roads, driving in bus lanes, parking wrongly and making banned turns.

Local authorities govern minor roads but may follow TfL’s lead by putting up their rates.


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