Builder survives £3,137 zone penalty for one day slip | The Crusader | Finance newsbhunt


The colossal charge David Clark received was for contravening London’s Low Emission Zone (LEZ) during one day when driving into Croydon, south of the capital, in April last year.

Fortunately, after support from Crusader, the dire fate he feared for his livelihood has now been averted and the penalty notice cancelled in a goodwill gesture by Transport for London (TfL) which runs the scheme.

Of course David is massively relieved with this outcome and has never disputed it was his mistake entering the zone without paying.

However questions remain over the process he experienced which he found most unfair.

At the time the owner of a Ford van, he lives in France but often works in England where he still has family.

The first he realised about his error was more than eight months later in January this year when he got the bombshell demand from EPCplc, TfL’s collection partner.

“There was no photo evidence, why it took so long or a detailed breakdown of charges as to how they reached that sum. Had I known earlier, I would have settled immediately, but those delays gave me no chance and yet I was the one expected to pay,” reasoned David.

Just as worrying were the pan-European communications themselves – letters variously had French and Swedish stamps and ordered him to pay the charge in euros (3,658) into a German bank.

“It seemed so haphazard it made me think at first it was a scam, there seemed to be so many countries involved. I was very wary when I got in touch,” he adds.

After that he followed EPC’s orders, sending an email but was told he still had to foot the full bill. “By then I had sold the van for scrap but complied when they asked me to send a copy of the log book. Now I’ve got a final rejection and am desperate. My business could go under if I have to pay all this,” he told Crusader.

A closer look at one demand reveals in very small print that David had been sent a notice in early November, so still months after the contravention.

Other sparse details indicate the amount was made up of a fine plus a hefty late payment charge.

Following our appeal to TfL it commented: “We have reviewed [the] case and used our discretion to cancel all fines.”

EPCplc has been contacted for comment.

[David’s name has been changed]


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