Transport for London (TfL) has increased the Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) from £65 to £80 or £130 to £160 for late payment, with a proposed rise for offences on TfL’s road network to follow later in the year, subject to Secretary of State review.
The Congestion Charge had played an important role in reducing the number of vehicles in central London, and fines for not paying the charge encouraged drivers to be compliant, said TfL.
But in the past five years there had been a 12% increase in the number of motorists being issued with Congestion Charge PCNs. The rise from around 1.3 million in 2011/12 to around 1.5 million in 2016/17 was a clear indicator that the effectiveness of the current PCN fine had reduced over time, said TfL.
Later this year, and subject to the required Secretary of State review, TfL is also proposing to increase PCNs for offences which take place on their road network.
More than a third of all London’s traffic uses TfL’s road network, often referred to as red routes, and vehicles that block roads, drive in bus lanes, park incorrectly or make banned turns, not only caused inconvenience to road users, but created hazards, particularly for pedestrians and cyclists, said TfL.
By keeping the main routes clear, road danger, congestion, vehicle emissions and delays to bus passengers were reduced, ensuring that London remained an efficient, well-functioning global city, said TfL.
TfL said it had also made it easier to pay the Congestion Charge with the new official TfL Congestion Charge app launched. It allows motorists to pay using a mobile device for the first time.
Users can pay the Congestion Charge and T-Charge much quicker than paying by phone or online, save vehicles and payment cards to their app and see if a postcode is in the Congestion Charge zone.
Paul Cowperthwaite, TfL’s general manager for road user charging, said: “We want to make London’s streets safer and healthier places that are less dominated by the car.
“Although the Congestion Charge has been effective in reducing the number of cars entering central London, we’ve seen a 12% 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.”