ULEZ widened across London, but questions raised over legality

London’s Mayor, Sadiq Khan, has described the widening of the Ultra Low Emission Zone to cover the whole of London “a difficult decision but the right one to save lives”.

All London boroughs are now covered by the restrictions on older vehicles, whose drivers must now pay £12.50 a day to drive anywhere in London. Those crossing the border from the home counties must also pay.

However it’s reported a legal ruling regarding the existing Low Emission Zone, suggests that the signage may not be legal because it does not make it clear that drivers face charges if they are not compliant.

The Sun reports a driver had thousands of pounds worth of fines ruled unlawful. Noel Willcox told the paper: “The Road Traffic Act states if there is a risk that motorists are going to be charged, you have to let them know.

“But the low emission zone signs just say ‘LEZ’ or ‘ULEZ Zone’. They don’t make it clear about charges.”

Nick Freeman, the lawyer dubbed “Mr Loophole” because of his record of getting people off traffic fines added: “It’s what’s known as ‘persuasive’, which means it can be used in other cases.”

He explained:

“They need to tell you not just where you are but what happens, in other words a charge could be incurred.

Nick Freeman added: “Because that hasn’t happened, the signs are neither use nor ornament.

“They are not fit for purpose and might as well not be there.”

The policy has faced widespread criticism with former London Mayoral candidate and ex-Transport Minister Steve Norris calling it “a tax on the poor for being poor,” arguing people do not usually choose to drive older vehicles, but do because it is all they can afford.

In a tweet, Mr Khan stated the Central London ULEZ has helped reduce child asthma hospitalisations attributable to air pollution by 30% in London and “now all Londoners will get the health benefits.”

(File picture – RAC)


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