Author Topic: Chris Grayling blocks "excessive" rise in penalty charges for London motorists  (Read 403 times)

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Offline The Bald Eagle

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It's about bloody time!

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TfL dealt blow by Chris Grayling as he blocks "excessive" rise in penalty charges for London motorists


TfL intended to hike fines from £130 to £160 (Source: Getty)

Transport for London (TfL) has been dealt a fresh blow to its finances after Chris Grayling stepped in to block plans increasing motorist penalties in the capital, set to provide millions in extra revenue for the organisation.

In correspondence seen by City A.M., London mayor Sadiq Khan wrote to the transport secretary in December to notify him of TfL's proposal to increase the penalty charge for motorists breaking road rules in London from £130 to £160, or £65 to £80 for early payment.

Offences resulting in fines include driving in bus lanes and parking offences.

As well as looking to improve congestion and traffic troubles, the plans were set to bring in more revenue.

The proposed increase in the penalty charge notices by TfL was estimated to provide an additional £80m in income over TfL's business plan period from 2016/17 to 2021/22.

TfL is looking for ways to boost its finances, as it battles an unexpected slip in passenger numbers and the loss of government funding. A recent London Assembly report noted TfL passenger numbers and fares revenue were "well behind budget".

Khan said TfL had become concerned that the existing charge had become an ineffective deterrent to poor driving, and that the number of motorists issued with more than one penalty charge notice was rising.

The proposed rise came after a public consultation, but the transport secretary has intervened to block the increase in charges.

In a response sent last month, Grayling said the proposal was a "significant rise" and needed careful consideration in light of "the financial pressures experienced by many motorists across the capital". He said figures supplied did not support TfL's claim that the £130 notice had become "an inadequate deterrent".

Grayling wrote:

"Having considered the evidence carefully, I do not accept that there has been a consistent deterioration in driver behaviour, and consequently I do not agree that it is necessary or reasonable to increase the penalty charge level by 23 per cent.

I have come to the view that the proposed TLRN [TfL road network] penalty charge level would be excessive, and I have therefore decided to intervene."


TfL officials are in discussions with the DfT about next steps.

A spokesperson for the mayor said:

"Drivers who don’t play by the rules by driving in bus lanes or blocking important routes are increasing congestion, while causing serious hazards for other road users – including cyclists and pedestrians.

Overall, the number of PCNs [penalty charge notices] has increased in recent years, with the evidence showing more offences being committed by repeat offenders. The current fine is simply not enough of a deterrent for a small number of drivers who are increasingly flouting the rules."


http://www.cityam.com/280277/tfl-dealt-blow-chris-grayling-he-blocks-excessive-rise

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"He said figures supplied did not support TfL's claim that the £130 notice had become "an inadequate deterrent"."

Strange that when TfL did their own consultation on whether or not to raise the level of the Congestion Charge fine (something that Grayling couldn't interfere with), they found their own figures DID support the rise and it went through on the nod.  <bashy2> :bashy:
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Offline The Bald Eagle

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London freight companies celebrate as Grayling blocks punitive PCN charges
15-Feb-2018

London’s freight operators are celebrating, after it was confirmed the Transport Secretary has blocked plans for a dramatic increase in Red Route Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs). The penalties are imposed on vehicles which stop or park on some of the capital’s main arterial routes.

The Freight Transport Association (FTA), the UK’s leading body representing the logistics sector, led the fight to stop the increases, in an effort to keep the Capital trading. It has welcomed the decision to scrap the plans, which it says would have caused havoc for London’s freight operators, unfairly punishing firms which move goods in and out of the city.

Transport for London announced its intention to increase Red Route PCNs from £130 to £160 in December last year. It claimed the existing charge had become an ineffective deterrent and the number of motorists issued with more than one penalty charge notice was rising. However, FTA believes there is no evidence to show that increasing the fines as proposed, would have reduced illegal stopping.

The Department for Transport has now confirmed the Transport Secretary has intervened to stop the increases. Chris Grayling MP, has written to the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, to explain his decision. He says the rises would be ‘excessive’ and there is no evidence to support TfL’s claim that the fine levels for penalty charge notices are no longer working.

FTA’s Head of Urban Policy, Natalie Chapman is delighted by the news:

“FTA raised its very serious concerns about these increases from the outset. I am relieved Mr Grayling was able to see the injustice of the plans and intervene to stop them. Many freight companies are struggling in the current economic climate, and piling on yet another business cost could have been disastrous for the smooth movement of goods around the capital and could have had a serious impact on its trading future.

Ms Chapman went on to explain: “TfL’s own research points to a growth in repeat offending, which means many of the vehicles getting these penalty notices are likely to be trucks and vans. They need to park on red routes to complete vital collections and deliveries. In many cases, there is simply nowhere else for drivers to stop legally.

“No responsible truck operator wants to break the law, and keeping Red Routes moving is in everyone’s interests. FTA is keen to work with TfL to find a solution to these problems. Freight is the Capital’s lifeline and the companies which keep the city moving should not be penalised for doing a fantastic job under difficult circumstances.”

 
FTA Press Office
01892 552255

http://www.fta.co.uk/media_and_campaigns/press_releases/2018/20180215-london-freight-companies-celebrate-as-grayling-blocks-punitive-PCN-charges.html
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Offline DastardlyDick

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Not that I'm a fan of Sadiq Khan, but I wonder if this was politically motivated in a similar way to DfT stopping TfL taking over Southern Railways?

 


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