The Sunday Post (Newcastle)

89 drivers hit with £960 penalty for breaching city’s LEZ laws


Eighty-nine motorists have been issued the maximum fine for breaching Glasgow’s controvers­ial Low Emission Zone (LEZ) in the past month, and now face an eye-watering bill of almost £1,000.

Official Glasgow City Council figures for September show 89 penalty notices were issued for the capped £960 fine, which is generated after the driver commits five offences within the same month.

The scheme’s surchargin­g policy means the penalty amount doubles with each subsequent breach of the rules by the same vehicle, so drivers receiving the top fine have already been charged £480 for the fourth offence, £240 for the third, £120 for the second and £60 for the first. Unless drivers pay each fine on time, the total penalty cost for breaching the zone in a month would be £1,860.

Since the LEZ scheme was introduced in June, a total of 20,134 motorists have been penalised, which could generate more than £1 million in income for the council.

Luke Bosdet, a spokesman for the AA, said: “If the experience in London is anything to go by, it is quite possible that fine amounts could increase, albeit the hikes in London have so far related to parking and bus-lane violations.

“ULEZ/LEZ restrictio­ns are just too recent to allow increased fines. The London experience is, however, showing where the ‘repeat’ offenders are coming from.

“Firstly, among those drivers who don’t understand the signs or have vehicles that turn out to be compliant after investigat­ion, many will pick up multiple fines for a simple reason. They may go into the zone a number of times perfectly innocently, but only find out they have violated the restrictio­ns days later when the first fines letter hits the doormat.”

Glasgow City Council confirmed it received 2,758 appeals against LEZ fines up to the end of September, with just 876 people successful.

Concerns are now being raised that drivers have been unfairly fined after being forced to change routes or follow diversions due to accidents, roadworks or weather events, unwittingl­y finding themselves inside the zone.

A Glasgow City Council spokeswoma­n said: “Noncomplia­nt vehicles diverted into the LEZ will not be subject to penalty charge should they follow the signed diversion route.

“The council receives notificati­on of planned and unplanned diversions and makes the necessary amendments to LEZ enforcemen­t. Our enforcemen­t regime is based upon vehicle registrati­on informatio­n provided by the DVLA and

The Low Emission Zones were launched in June to cut pollution in Glasgow city centre. potential breaches of the scheme are subject to a further check.”

Meanwhile, Edinburgh motorists could also start facing fines, as the capital will become the first city in Scotland to ban cars from parking on the pavement as part of new national legislatio­n, which comes into effect from December.

From January, drivers who mount the kerb will face a £100 fine, while double parking and parking at dropped kerbs will also be banned, with exemptions for delivery drivers.

City of Edinburgh Council says pavement parking is a “persistent issue” on more than 500 streets, and a survey carried out by the local authority found 68% of residents support the ban.

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