Transport for London has confirmed it will increase the maximum fine on the capital’s busiest roads by £30 from next week despite nearly two-thirds (65 per cent) of respondents to a consultation last year opposing the hike.
A rise in fine amounts for contraventions on London ‘Red Routes’, such as blocking yellow box junctions, breaking parking rules, performing illegal turns and driving in bus lanes, will see motorists receive a maximum penalty charge notice (PCN) of £160 from Monday 17 January – up from £130.
The RAC described the increase as ‘eye-watering’ and said minor offences in the capital are now punishable with fines amounts almost on par with being caught illegally using a phone at the wheel.
Motorists caught breaking rules on the capital’s network of red routes will from next week be hit with maximum fines of £160 – up from £130
Red routes, which are managed by TfL, make up around five per cent of London’s road network. However, they are also some of the busiest in the city, carrying over 30 per cent of traffic.
TfL claims there has been a 26 per cent increase in the number of PCNs issued for parking, loading, bus lane and moving traffic offences on red routes between 2016 and 2019.
Driving contraventions on red routes that lead to PCNs
Transport for London issues penalty charge notices for several motoring breaches, including:
Parking illegally in loading bays
Blocking yellow box junctions
Making a turn where this movement is banned, which creates risk for people walking and cycling
Driving or parking in a bus lane
Stopping on the red route
Transport bosses said increasing fines will act as a deterrent for those who fail to follow the rules, which it says ‘puts the safety of themselves and other road users at risk and causes disruption and delays on some of the capital’s busiest and most important roads’.
A 50 per cent discount on fines will remain, meaning those who receive a PCN will be charged £80 if they make payment within 14 days. However, if payment is made after 28 days, the fine rises by 50 per cent to £240.
It is the first time PCN amounts for red route offences have been hiked for over a decade, with the last increase implemented in April 2011, when maximum penalties were escalated from £120 to £130.
TfL said the increase to £160 is ‘in line with inflation since the last increase’ and brings the fine amount in-line with penalties for non-payment of the the capital’s Congestion Charge and the recently extended Ultra-Low Emission Zone.
The announcement comes just weeks after TfL confirmed a 30 per cent increase in the Congestion Charge to £15 per day will be permanent.
Motorists who are caught blocking yellow box junctions, breaking parking rules, performing illegal turns and driving in bus lanes on the capital’s red routes would receive a maximum penalty charge notice of £160. Early payment (within 14 days) would reduce the fine to £80
‘Increasing the level of the penalty charge is about improving compliance, not penalising drivers,’ Transport for London said in a statement issued on Monday morning.
‘It should deter motorists from contravening essential rules and safety restrictions.
How to tell if you’re driving on a red route
‘Red routes’ are recognisable for their painted red ‘no-stopping’ lines and signs on designated roads.
Single and double red lines ban all stopping, parking and loading.
Double red lines – as seen pictured above – apply at all times and single red lines usually apply during the working day.
They are designed to keep traffic flowing and prohibit drivers from stopping except for in specified areas.
‘PCNs are an important way of encouraging road users to follow the rules of the road and are only issued to the small number of drivers who contravene these rules.’
The decision means drivers will face fines of up to £160 if they are found to have breached a number of rules on red routes.
This includes: parking illegally in loading bays; blocking yellow box junctions; making a turn where this movement is banned, which creates risk for people walking and cycling; driving or parking in a bus lane; and stopping on the red route.
‘Any revenue raised through these penalty notices is invested back into London’s transport network, which includes investing in its road network to improve safety for all road users,’ TfL says.
RAC head of roads policy Nicholas Lyes described the increase as ‘eye-watering’.
He said it will make PCNs ‘not far off the fine for a serious motoring offence such as illegally using a handheld mobile phone’.
Fines for illegal phone use while driving are £200.
President of the AA, Edmund King, said there is ‘no justification’ for increasing fines to £160, adding that nearly two thirds (65 per cent) of respondents to a public consultation held between August and September agreed with the motoring group’s stance on the hike.
‘The AA fully accepts the need for fair and effective road traffic enforcement to deter selfish and illegal driving that impedes other road users, reduces the effectiveness of the road network, disrupts business and can lead to increased emissions,’ Mr King said.
‘However, enforcement needs to be fair, proportionate and allow discretion while creating a deterrent. The AA believes that £130 fines are sufficient to provide deterrence.’
Red routes (marked here in the appropriate colour), which are managed by TfL, make up around 5% of London’s road network. However, they are also some of the busiest in the city, carrying between 30% and 40% of traffic in the capital
Making the announcement on Monday, Siwan Hayward, TfL’s director of compliance, policing, operations and security, said: ‘We are committed to keeping London moving safely and efficiently, and compliance on the Transport for London road network is essential in achieving those aims.
‘Non-compliance impacts London’s air quality, creates safety risks, disrupts traffic, and creates congestion for everyone.
‘Increasing the penalty charge for contraventions on our road network in line with inflation will provide a more effective deterrent to drivers and improve the safety and reliability of the network.’
SAVE MONEY ON MOTORING
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