ULEZ: TfL confirms full amount foreign drivers owe in fines - and it’s in the millions

London Assembly Member Caroline Pidgeon said it is “worrying to see the extent of fines being issued to motorists entering London from the European Union”.
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Foreign drivers owe almost £12 million in outstanding Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) from 2022, Transport for London (TfL) has confirmed.

Data published by the Liberal Democrats shows that last year, 167,663 ULEZ fines were issued to vehicles registered outside of the UK.

Of these, 30,520 have been cancelled, at a cost estimated at £4.98 million, and 22,095 have been paid, leaving 115,048 unresolved.

The figures were provided to the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Member (AM) Caroline Pidgeon in response to a written question submitted to mayor Sadiq Khan earlier this year.

TfL has now also separately confirmed to LondonWorld that a total of £11.85m is owed by foreign drivers in outstanding fines for 2022.

Commenting on the data, Ms Pidgeon said: “It is worrying to see the extent of fines being issued to motorists entering London from the European Union.

“It is very clear that visitors are not being given clear information in advance of entering London and are then being faced with vigorous efforts to collect fines they had not been aware of.

“This information is clearly not being communicated well enough with ferry companies and Eurotunnel.

“If this issue is not solved it risks doing serious damage to London’s image as being open to visitors.”

The data shows that in 2022, 167,663 ULEZ fines were issued to vehicles registered outside of the UK. Credit: Justin Tallis/AFP via Getty Images.The data shows that in 2022, 167,663 ULEZ fines were issued to vehicles registered outside of the UK. Credit: Justin Tallis/AFP via Getty Images.
The data shows that in 2022, 167,663 ULEZ fines were issued to vehicles registered outside of the UK. Credit: Justin Tallis/AFP via Getty Images.

A TfL spokesperson said the requirement for non-UK vehicles to pre-register for the country’s clean-air zones has been in place for 15 years.

“Our website has everything customers need to know in 18 languages. We are working with the main ports and ferry companies so drivers know what to expect on arrival,” they said.

“Advertising appears at key motorway service stations, on petrol pumps and the Waze app, and Google maps provides information on where the zone operates. We also worked with all major foreign news agencies to publicise the requirements of the scheme.”

The spokesperson added the ULEZ, which was first introduced in central London in 2016 and was expanded to cover all of the capital in August, is “not about making money”, but is a tool to tackle air pollution, the climate emergency and congestion.

“Only those with the most polluting vehicles will have to pay the charge, and these figures reflect the fact that individuals can accumulate multiple fines if their PCNs remain unpaid. Outstanding fines have been rescinded where the necessary evidence has been provided.”

The decision to expand the ULEZ has come under criticism since Mr Khan made the announcement last November, largely due to it coming in the midst of a cost-of-living crisis.

Images and photos of so-called ‘blade runners’ causing damage to ULEZ cameras have been circulating online, with the Met Police recently saying 595 cameras were damaged between April 1 and September 1.

Despite the pressure, Mr Khan has repeatedly said the decision to extend the zone was a “difficult” but “necessary” one, in a bid to clean up the capital’s air.

The widened ULEZ is expected to bring in around £200m in its first year, all of which is to be invested in London’s transport network. TfL however said it will generate no surplus by 2026/27.