Author Topic: Van driver is issued with 22 ULEZ fines after repeated TfL number plate error  (Read 234 times)

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Van driver is issued with 22 separate ULEZ fines after repeated TfL number plate error

A VAN driver was issued 22 ULEZ fines after the database thought his private plate was for an older vehicle.

19:08, Sun, May 22, 2022 | UPDATED: 19:23, Sun, May 22, 2022

Despite his two company vans being exempt, Bradley Wilkin was issued 22 separate Ultra low emissions zone (ULEZ) fines by Transport for London when they incorrectly thought his vehicles were too old to go free of charge.

Over the course of three years the fines amounted to £275 which were taken from Mr Wilkin’s Autopay account, he told This is Money.

However both his vans were registered in the last four years, which means they’re exempt from the £12.50 daily charge.

Mr Wilkins has suffered huge frustration due to the issue, which occurred because TfL’s systems assumed one of the vans was a 2013 diesel model.

In reality, the van sports a private plate 'BM13 SEC', designed to represent Mr Wilkin’s company name, BMB Security.

Mr Wilkin was frustrated again and again by the error which cost him £275 in fines

Mr Wilkin did say the number plate had previously been registered to a 2013 diesel Audi estate - which is not ULEZ compliant - before being transferred to his then-new diesel Citroen Berlingo van in 2019.

However the van was correctly set up on the TfL autopay system in order to pay the Congestion charge for driving through the capital.

TfL then charged Mr Wilkin an additional £12.50 for the ULEZ zone on top from June 2019 onward.

The issue only came to light when the private number plate was removed from the 2019 model at the end of last year and replaced with another personalised registration - CA11 BMB.

With the new number plate legally applied to the van, the daily ULEZ charges stopped being billed to his Auto Pay account.

However when he transferred the older BM13 plate to a newer van in 2021, the charges began again.

Mr Wilkin followed all guidelines when buying and transferring the different plates and he supplied TfL with V5 documents to support the changes.

Mr Wilkin told This is Money he has emailed the company with no useful response.

The ULEZ zone was extended in October last year to include the North and South circular

Instead, he claimed he received more general replies.

He added one email explained he had to contact the DVLA to ammend his records.

“I contacted the DVLA and they told me that the V5 is correct and the vehicle is compliant," he continued.

“The fact that the van showed as compliant when we re-registered with the CA11 BMB plate should have been a clue.”

Clean air zones

He said he had repeatedly contacted TfL about the issue without success, fearing he would accrue more charges after the zone was extended in October last year.

A TfL call centre issued him with a ticket number and said his case would be dealt with in 10 working days.

In the end Mr Wilkin said he took the decision to remove the new van with the BM13 SEC plate from TfL's Auto Pay system and said he would wait to be issued with a £160 penalty charge each time he used it in the ULEZ.

He added: “I doubt if I will ever get the refund due from their errors.”

A TfL spokesperson said: 'We apologise to Mr Wilkin for the incorrect charges he incurred as a result of an error in our database, and for the difficulty he had in resolving this issue.

“We are refunding all of the money and have corrected our records. We have also reminded our contractor Capita of the need to resolve any issues of this nature swiftly in future.

“The issue here was an error in our systems which meant the records hadn't properly been updated.

“We have a process for updating the private number plates in our database. There was an error with the system with Mr Wilkin's case.

“It's something we deal with regularly to make sure they're up to date, but there appears there was an error with this one.”


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