Press release: more than 200,000 penalty notices given since ULEZ launched in London in April 2019

  • Alex Buttle
  • 29th October 2019
  • FOI request reveals more than 2,000,000 drivers have paid the ULEZ charge
  • Over 30,000 drivers have received more than one PCN for non-payment of the ULEZ charge
  • Worst offending driver has received 81 PCNs for non-payment of the ULEZ daily charge

More than 2,000,000 drivers have paid the ULEZ daily charge, and over 200,000 penalty charge notices (PCNs) have been handed out to drivers for non-payment of the charge, since it was launched in London in April, according to research by Motorway.

The Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) charge is paid by drivers whose vehicles fail the tough new exhaust emissions standards introduced in central London, to help improve air quality.

A Freedom of Information (FOI) request made by Motorway.co.uk in September to Transport for London (TfL), revealed that 223,952 penalty notices were handed out between May 11 and August 31, to drivers of high polluting vehicles who failed to pay the central London toxic air levy.

Almost 32,000 drivers (31,783) have received more than one penalty ticket since ULEZ was launched and the worst offender has amassed a staggering 81 penalty notices between May 11 and August 31, which could mean she has had to pay fines up to £13,000. 

Car, motorcycle and van drivers who fail to pay the daily charge of £12,50, face a £160 fine, or £80 if paid within a fortnight. While, HGV and coach drivers, who have to pay a higher daily charge of £100, face a £1000 fine, or £500 if paid within 14  days.

Transport for London confirmed that until 10 May they issued warning notices rather than PCNs, because the ULEZ scheme was new.

Motorway.co.uk research found that over two million vehicles (2,124,404) have paid the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) charge between launch and August 31, generating almost £31 million for TfL. Of this, £25.9 million was paid by car, motorcycle and van drivers (ULEZ Low charge of £12.50) and £4.8 million by HGV and coach drivers (ULEZ High charge of £100). 

The following table shows the number of charges purchased per month between 8 April and 31 August 2019, broken down by high (HGVs and coaches) and low (cars, motorcycles and vans) ULEZ categories:

MonthULEZ HighULEZ LowTotal
April8,301337,812346,113
May11,864484,843496,707
June10,195459,572469,767
July10,504453,973464,477
August7,236340,104347,340
Total48,1002,076,3042,124,404

The following table lists the total revenue raised per month from charges purchased between 8 April and 31 August 2019, broken down by high and low categories.

MonthULEZ HighULEZ LowTotal
Apr£ 830,100.00£ 4,222,650.00£ 5,052,750.00
May£ 1,186,400.00£ 6,060,537.50£ 7,246,937.50
Jun£ 1,019,500.00£ 5,744,650.00£ 6,764,150.00
Jul£ 1,050,400.00£ 5,674,662.50£ 6,725,062.50
Aug£ 723,600.00£ 4,251,300.00£ 4,974,900.00
Total£ 4,810,000.00£ 25,953,800.00£ 30,763,800.00

The table provided here shows how many PCNs we issued per month for non-payment of the ULEZ daily charge between 11 May and 31 August.

MonthPCN
May41,008
June74,630
July67,386
August40,928
Total223,952

The table below shows the total revenue raised per month from PCNs issued between 11 May and 31 August 2019 broken down by high and low categories.

These figures do not take account of the costs of running the scheme and therefore show revenue raised rather than net income.

MonthSum of Amount Paid
May£ 2,509,618.50
June£ 3,896,540.50
July£ 3,067,243.49
August£ 1,148,599.50
Total£ 10,622,001.99

Alex Buttle, director of Motorway comments: 

“Judging by the drop in polluting cars being driven in central London since ULEZ was launched in April and a general fall in traffic, it feels like the scheme is doing its job.

“Something had to be done with London facing a public health crisis. The electric car switch-over can’t come quick enough, but until it does, ULEZ shows there is a genuine commitment to tackle London’s toxic air. And that commitment is proving successful.

“While ULEZ was not about generating money for councils, it has nevertheless brought in more than £40m in charges and penalty notices in the six months since launch. 

“Schemes like ULEZ should always be about the health and well-being of people living in major urban areas.”

“Although pollution levels are still unacceptably high in the capital, the success of ULEZ proves that similar clean air zones can and should be urgently rolled out across the country.”