Say fines need to be higher to encourage alternative means of travel
Transport for London (TfL) has confirmed plans to increase the Congestion Charge Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) from 2 January 2018, with a proposed rise for offences on TfL's road network to follow later in the year, subject to Secretary of State review.
PCNs will now rise from £65 to £80 or from £130 to £160 if not paid within the stipulated period. The change represents a rise of over 23% There were over 7,000 responses to the consultation but TfL have not disclosed what proportion were in favour of the increase.
Matthew Jaffa, Senior Development Manager, Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), said, “The increase of £130 to £160 might not seem a significant increase, however, London is the costliest place to do business with recent FSB data showing that small firms in the capital are now paying 30% of their turnover on Rents and rates – compared to 20% when asked the previous year. They can ill afford extra costs on their business, so we urge TfL to ensure a light touch approach to targeting businesses who fall foul of the regulations – especially as businesses are carrying out services to the community through deliveries and logistical activities.”
Paul Cowperthwaite, TfL's General Manager for Road User Charging, said, "Although the Congestion Charge has been effective in reducing the number of cars entering central London, we've seen a 12 per cent increase in the number of motorists being issued with PCNs in the last five years. This shows that the deterrent factor of the existing PCN has reduced over time. The new PCN level will help improve compliance and also encourage people to consider cheaper and more active alternative forms of travel."
TfL is also proposing to increase PCNs for offences which take place on their road network including bus lane violations. More than a third of all London's traffic uses TfL's road network, often referred to as red routes.
TfL say that they reinvest all income received from PCNs back into London's transport network.
They are making it easier to pay the Congestion Charge with the new official TfL Congestion Charge app. The app, which launched this week, allows motorists to pay using a mobile device for the first time.
December 15, 2017