CAUGHT IN THE LONDON LOW EMISSION Zone

Giorgio Balatoni

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May 24, 2017
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Just got back from three month travels in France and Italy, really good time, but spent my budget and now funds are low and thought get back to work and build up the funds for another trip later in the year. Then started to open the pile of post, two thirds of which was rubbish on to one pile, bills on another pile and one or two unknowns on a third pile. Get the known bills out of the way first, and then opened the unknown ..... shock horror...London low emission zone PENALTY CHARGE...
Looked at the notice £1000 fine for driving in London without payment of the appropriate charge. I was flabbergasted, and used a few other words begining with the F word. But I thought to myself that I haven’t been driving in London, so looked at the rest of the penalty notice and it says I was driving on the A2 on the East Rochester Way with a picture of my M/H... and sure enough that was me ! So I thought and had to retrace my thoughts back, and at 64years old I got a job to remember last week let alone three months ago... So got to thinking and remembered that a week before I go I will drive down to Dover and just make sure of where I was going, and thought it will be a nice two days out stopping off in Canterbury on the way back.
So coming back from Canterbury found myself on the M2 (I think) and was trying to get on to the M25 but missed the turning due to very heavy traffic and found myself on the A2 with a few more F words and maybe other very bad words, and was looking to turn around on this dual carriageway etc long story short whilst on this dual carriageway way I must of strayed into this zone before I got to turn around. Now I know some of you will say that ignorance is not an excuse of the law .. but being a country lad from the West Country I didn’t know. And of course looking further down the notice I have expired the time of payment and now stands at £1500. And a few more F words. So come on all you very experienced and very nice funsters what the F..k can I do ? And since when was Rochester in London.
 
Sep 10, 2013
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I can only suggest you write to them with the same story as you've written above and ask for leniency. Its a bug*er I know the LEZ starts virtually at the M 25 so a simple wrong lane can throw you in to where you don't want to be, however there is I think at least one junction from the M25 to the LEZ, so that might make your claim for leniency more problematic.
 

DuxDeluxe

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I can only suggest you write to them with the same story as you've written above and ask for leniency. Its a bug*er I know the LEZ starts virtually at the M 25 so a simple wrong lane can throw you in to where you don't want to be, however there is I think at least one junction from the M25 to the LEZ, so that might make your claim for leniency more problematic.
Good advice. Unfortunately it is very well signposted as well, but you have nothing to lose really

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Oct 7, 2015
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I did just the same a few years ago, Phoned and wrote to them explaining that I was lost and did not know how to avoid the area, result fine cancelled with a warning.
 
Oct 12, 2009
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They were issuing warnings for a first offence, but maybe that was for a limited period in the first years of the scheme.

I just wonder; is the vehicle newish to you, and could it have been involved in a previous offence.

Appeal as suggested. If that fails then appeal against the additional £500 explaining motorhomes are used for motorhoming not sitting at home waiting for the post.

I do not know your MH, but have you checked on Tfl website that it is not exempt?

Geoff
 
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And it ain't going to get any better charges are due in all major towns up and down the country,
welcome to britain.
 
Oct 12, 2009
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Giorgio

Further to my post above.

Maybe you can look on the map and find out where you did drive before you found the right route. I suspect it was a minimal infringement of the zone. If so I would photocopy the map and highlight the roads you were on.

If it was minimal then I should claim that the fine and the extra £500 are disproportionate to the offence.

If the payment is being demanded by a sub-contractor to Tfl there is always the possibility of appealing direct to Tfl because it is their LEZ scheme.

Geoff

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Aug 18, 2014
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Good advice. Unfortunately it is very well signposted as well, but you have nothing to lose really
But unless you know what an 'emission zone' is then it would mean nothing.
£1500 cannot possibly be considered a reasonable and proportionate penalty for accidentally straying into an arbitrary zone for a few minutes. This country has gone mad !

No,it's just a tax. do the same in a German one & it is 40€ In france 68€

Great web site. It also says there:

"If your vehicle is not registered in the United Kingdom and you have not previously registered it with us, it will automatically be classified as having to pay the £200 Daily LEZ Charge High."

Which makes £1000, "penalty charge" seem excessive
Quite right.In addition how does the foreigner know that he is supposed to register ?

As to the Op you need to first see whether your vehicle complies .Then point out first offence which should be a warning.
 

Chris

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The M25 turn off is just before the point where the LEZ starts. It’s miles away from Rochester , that’s just the name of the road.

I would write to them and explain what happened. You never know.

Good luck
 

nelly

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Quite right.In addition how does the foreigner know that he is supposed to register ?
There are loads on here who have French and German stickers and registered if you are going to a country it is up to you to find out as many on here have done even though they will probably never need them

Neil

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Aug 18, 2014
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There are loads on here who have French and German stickers and registered if you are going to a country it is up to you to find out as many on here have done even though they will probably never need them

Neil
I'm British & live in spain & it never occurred to me in 2012 that I needed to register my spanish car to enter the lez. Why would it ? It was only by someone on another forum mentioning that you had to register a foreign vehicle otherwise it would never have occurred to me.
Even once informed the TfL site was an absolute nightmare even for someone whose first language is English. I had to ring in the end to get them to point out what parts to fill in. Doing the MH was even worse as on information sheet it states MH yet on what you inf ill there isn't any where for mhomes.
 

Larby

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Friend of mine just been hit for £1000. Lives in Dover, going South on M11 and heard there were 4 hour tailbacks approaching the Dartford Crossing. So continues on M11 then A102 Blackwall Tunnel.
He was caught on The Rochester relief road, just been advised of the offence !! which happened in November.
 

Theonlysue

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Not long enough!
How are they calculating £1500?

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Camdoon

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I am sure the other case mentioned on here before was someone who had travelled down the M11 but had input "avoid tolls" to their TomTom which had taken them through London (presumably Blackwall Tunnel) and into the LEZ.
 
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Giorgio Balatoni

Giorgio Balatoni

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How are they calculating £1500?
Hi Funsters thank you very much for your response to my misdemeanour. The £1500 is £1000 for the offence and the extra £500 is because I hadn’t paid it within the said 28days. But as I was traveling I couldn’t pay it as I did not know. Question... if I ignore it do they always proceed to chase every notice, not that I’m in favour of breaking laws and trying to be slippery... but it is a lot of money for a genuine mistake.
 

Camdoon

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The Funsters' Court has decreed that if you phone them up, sound friendly and dotty they will let you off. The Court's decision is final.

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Giorgio Balatoni

Giorgio Balatoni

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May 24, 2017
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Giorgio Balatoni

Giorgio Balatoni

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May 24, 2017
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The Funsters' Court has decreed that if you phone them up, sound friendly and dotty they will let you off. The Court's decision is final.

Well I certainly can be friendly when I want, and dotty... I was an extra for the remake of 101 Dalmations......... so defiantly dotty and very Pissed off. Oops sorry about the language.

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GWAYGWAY

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I got hit with this one BUT I was allowed off for first offence and HAD NOT been informed that my van , a transit Chausson was not permitted in there, I was directed in there by the police after the Bridge was closed, Down the A13 and under the Blackwall tunnel. Hd it been at 3500kg it was OK but at 3680kg it was a lorry and subject to the higher lorry rate. The office is at Bognor I think. It is an anomaly that was put through and I had no idea whatsoever what or where the LEZ is or was. It seems ignorance is no defence and they have cleaned up many millions in fines and penalty late payments..
Phone them up and plead povery and that you had not been notified that you could not have known what it was. Most commercial vehicle owners should have been informed but now YOU must go on line and ask about the details of the registration being qualified or not to go in. This is the classic keep it quiet and let them get caught out line of the government and councils. There is no information on the road as to what it is and what it means. They do not catch the lorries so much now, so depend on the private vehicles like land-rovers and older pickups going in and being non compliant. There sign approching the A12/13 slip roads, saying non compliant vehicles must turn around there and go the entire distance of the M25 to get to the A2/20 122 miles of non polluting travel then for several hundred lorries when the bridge is closed, makes bureaucratic sense to me to keep the pollution down.??????????????
PS do not forget to plead that that amount is ten week pension money and you would need two years topay it unless you starved to death first. (over 65 only)
 
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Hymie

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I got 3 of these when the charge was £250 per offence, about 2 yearsy ago, rang them up to ask what it was for.

The woman I spoke to said they normally sent a warning for a first offence, when I asked why I didn't get a warning she said " I have no idea" .

This prompted me to write a very polite email explaining that I knew nothing about the LEZ and what the woman said, while we were sitting at Dover docks,.

As we were sitting at Calais waiting.for the return ferry 3 weeks later I got reply telling me they had cancelled the charges but threatening me with exile to the colonies if I transgressed in future.

Try writing, explain you're a country boy and throw yourself on their mercy, you've nothing to lose, maybe you'll have a happy ending.

Good luck, shocked it's now £1000, thats extortionate beyond all reason.

Hymie

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Brakers

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@Giorgio Balatoni Hi Mark thanks for your info. Put my reg number in and said that my daily charge is £200. My M/H is 4.5 tonnes.
Hi There why do you get charged as mine does not acording to that site and it's a 5 tonner and a Fiat 2.8 I think like yours?
 
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Apr 26, 2015
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@Giorgio Balatoni Hi Mark thanks for your info. Put my reg number in and said that my daily charge is £200. My M/H is 4.5 tonnes.
Hi There why do you get charged as mine does not acording to that site and it's a 5 tonner and a Fiat 2.8 I think like yours?

Brakers, if your motorhome is over 3.5 tonnes, the Engine is Euro 4 or better and was first registered in the UK than you do not have to pay the LEZ charge, if your Engine is Euro 4 or better and the motorhome is an import than you will need to register it or pay the charge £200. If your motorhome is less than Euro 4 you will need to pay the £200 charge.
Also note the charge runs from midnight to midnight so if you stray into the LEZ at 23:50 and don't leave until 00:10 you will need to pay twice.

It's a good idea to run your registration through their website check just to make sure as the fines are ridiculously high.

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