Author Topic: TFL: Paid ULEZ charge but received PCN as trip lasted beyond midnight  (Read 71 times)

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Wilbo

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Hello all,

I'm extremely careful about emissions charges etc. but annoyingly have still been caught out by TFL's sneaky charging system.

My trip to London lasted for less than 24 hours. I paid the charge online, did not realise that a second charge would be due if staying after midnight and so have received a PCN (attached) with what seems to me a wildly disproportionate fine of £180 (reduced to £90 if paid quickly). This seems very unfair to me.

Two questions:

1) Do I have any chance of getting out of this?
2) Is it necessary to refer only to 'the driver' in this case or is that only for private fines?

My draft appeal text is as follows:

Dear Sir / Madam,

I drove to London from Stroud in Gloucestershire on 16 March 2024. Since I was entering the ULEZ charging area, I made sure to pay the charge on my arrival.  My receipt number is XXXXXXXXXX

Nonetheless, I have received a PCN from you since my trip lasted until after midnight on the day in question, and thus spanned two charging days. Since I am not from London I was unaware of the midnight-to-midnight charging scheme and naturally assumed that only a single payment was necessary for a trip lasting less than 24 hours. It was not my intention to avoid the second charge (for 17 March 2024) and I only neglected to pay it due to inadequate information provided by TFL.

I paid the charge for 16 March after accessing the following page, via a Google search for the terms ‘pay ULEZ charge’:

https://tfl.gov.uk/modes/driving/pay-to-drive-in-london

Nowhere on the page does it mention that a second charge would apply to a driver who entered the zone for less than 24 hours, but spanning two 24-hour charging periods. Since this is counter-intuitive (a motorist would naturally assume that only a single charge applied to a trip lasting less than 24 hours) the lack of clear information is significant. When I clicked on the ‘PAY’ button and followed the instructions, the online payment process likewise did not inform me that I would have to make two payments if my trip lasted beyond midnight.

Regulation 18 (1)(a) of the Local Authorities’ Traffic Orders (Procedure) (England and Wales) Regulations 1996 makes clear that where an order (such as the ULEZ scheme) has been made, any signs should secure ‘that adequate information as to the effect of the order is made available to persons using the road’. None of the signs informing drivers of the ULEZ charge (which can be viewed on your website here: https://tfl.gov.uk/modes/driving/ultra-low-emission-zone/ulez-road-signs) make any mention of midnight-to-midnight charging, or give any indication that a driver would need to pay two charges if they remained in the zone after midnight.

In the circumstances, and noting once again that it was not my intention to avoid the second charge, I would be very grateful if you would agree to cancel the PCN on this occasion. I am of course happy to make a payment of £12.50 to cover the actual charge for 17 March 2024, of which I was not aware until I received the PCN this morning.

Kind regards etc.

----

I'd be very grateful for any advice you can give. Many thanks in advance!

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Incandescent

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Re: TFL: Paid ULEZ charge but received PCN as trip lasted beyond midnight
« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2024, 06:07:58 pm »
Well, our esteemed administrator says all TfL PCNs are open to challenge and cancellation, so wait until he comes on. 
You're not the first person on here who has been caught out by being in a CAZ or ULEZ over midnight and only paying for one day.  There has been a case in Bristol (as I recall) where the person went into the zone at about 10 minutes to midnight, and paid for the following day but got a PCN in the post for the 10 minutes.  However Bristol PCNs are unlawful but so far this hasn't been tested at adjudication.

cp8759

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Re: TFL: Paid ULEZ charge but received PCN as trip lasted beyond midnight
« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2024, 12:12:54 am »
There is an issue with the TFL notice of rejection template that may save the day. Nothing in your representation will persuade TFL to cancel the penalty charge, but have a look at these cases:

Nayeem Haque v Transport for London (2220767288, 15 November 2022)
Mike Welch v Transport for London (2230428700, 18 November 2023)
Lubavitch Synagogue v Transport for London (2230535074, 5 February 2024)
Commercial Plant Services Ltd v Transport for London (2240018512, 12 February 2024)
Mathew Mathai v Transport for London (2240062219, 15 March 2024)

The Commercial Plant case is helpful as TFL applied for a review that got thrown out.

So I suggest you send your representation asap as you want to get it in during the discount period, then post up the notice of rejection when you get it and if there is an exploitable flaw we'll help you with the next steps.
I am not on the "motorists's side", nor am I on the "police/CPS/council's" side, I am simply in favour of the rule of law. Section 6 of the Interpretation Act 1978 applies to everything I post as it would apply to an Act of Parliament. I am a Conservative councillor, this means some people think I am "scum". I am not a lawyer.

Quote from: 'Gumph' date='Thu, 19 Jan 2023 - 10:23'
cp8759 is, indeed, a Wizard of the First Order

Wilbo

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Re: TFL: Paid ULEZ charge but received PCN as trip lasted beyond midnight
« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2024, 12:01:05 pm »
There is an issue with the TFL notice of rejection template that may save the day
...
So I suggest you send your representation asap as you want to get it in during the discount period, then post up the notice of rejection when you get it and if there is an exploitable flaw we'll help you with the next steps.
Thank you so much, I'll do exactly as you say. Am I ok phasing it as I have (re: being the driver), or should I rewrite it?
Thanks again – this forum is fantastic!

cp8759

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Re: TFL: Paid ULEZ charge but received PCN as trip lasted beyond midnight
« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2024, 06:17:03 pm »
If you're both the driver and the registered keeper there's no reason to rephrase it.
I am not on the "motorists's side", nor am I on the "police/CPS/council's" side, I am simply in favour of the rule of law. Section 6 of the Interpretation Act 1978 applies to everything I post as it would apply to an Act of Parliament. I am a Conservative councillor, this means some people think I am "scum". I am not a lawyer.

Quote from: 'Gumph' date='Thu, 19 Jan 2023 - 10:23'
cp8759 is, indeed, a Wizard of the First Order