Transport for London hikes fines for breaking rules on London’s busiest roads to £160

Transport for London hikes fines for breaking rules on London’s busiest roads by nearly a quarter to £160

  • Fines for motorists along London’s red routes will increase from £130 to £160
  • Transport for London claims higher charges will be a ‘more effective deterrent’
  • TfL claims there has been a 26% increase in penalties issued from 2016 to 2019
  • It adds charges have not increased for over 10 years and are in line with inflation

Fines for drivers who break rules along London’s no-stopping ‘red routes’ will rise by nearly a quarter to £160 next week, it has been announced. 

From Monday, January 17, the charge will increase from £130 to £160, which Transport for London claims will provide a ‘more effective deterrent’ after an increase in penalty charge notices (PCNs) from 2016 to 2019.

PCNs are issued to drivers who fail to follow the rules on London’s network of red routes – which make up of 5 per cent of the capital’s roads but carry as much as 30 per cent of its traffic.

AA president Edmund King claimed there is ‘no justification’ for the decision, but TfL insisted the move will ‘reduce road danger and disruption’.

London’s red routes network has been in existence since the 1990s and generally bans motorists from stopping on the city’s key arterial roads, which carry as much as 30 per cent of its traffic at any one time

What driving breaches in London lead to a penalty charge notice (PCN)?

Transport for London issues penalty charge notices for several motoring breaches, including:

  • Parking illegally in loading bays
  • Blocking yellow box junctions
  • Making a turn where this movement is banned, which creates risk for people walking and cycling
  • Driving or parking in a bus lane
  • Stopping on the red route

 Source: TfL

Nearly two-thirds (65%) of respondents to a TfL consultation were opposed to the increase.

London’s red routes are roads managed by TfL and have special rules determining when and where vehicles can stop and park in a bid to keep traffic flowing. 

Between 2016-2019 there was a 26% leap in the number of PCNs issued for road offences in London. 

AA president Edmund King said: ‘There is no justification for increasing penalty charge notice amounts from £130 to £160 on London roads managed by Transport for London.

‘The AA fully accepts the need for fair and effective road traffic enforcement to deter selfish and illegal driving that impedes other road users, reduces the effectiveness of the road network, disrupts business, and can lead to increased emissions.

‘However, enforcement needs to be fair, proportionate and allow discretion while creating a deterrent. The AA believes that £130 fines are sufficient to provide deterrence.’

RAC head of roads policy Nicholas Lyes described the increase as ‘eye-watering’ and ‘not far off the fine for a serious motoring offence such as illegally using a handheld mobile phone’.

Fines for illegal phone use while driving are £200.

Siwan Hayward, TfL’s director of compliance, policing, operations and security, said: ‘We are committed to keeping London moving safely and efficiently, and compliance on the Transport for London road network is essential in achieving those aims.

‘Non-compliance impacts London’s air quality, creates safety risks, disrupts traffic, and creates congestion for everyone.

‘Increasing the penalty charge for contraventions on our road network in line with inflation will provide a more effective deterrent to drivers and improve the safety and reliability of the network.’

Motorists caught breaking rules on the capital's network of red routes will soon be hit with fines of £160 - up from £130 - under a new policy by Transport for London

Motorists caught breaking rules on the capital’s network of red routes will soon be hit with fines of £160 – up from £130 – under a new policy by Transport for London

The announcement comes just weeks after TfL confirmed a 30% increase in the Congestion Charge will be permanent. 

The fines are handed out for offences such as parking illegally in loading bays, blocking yellow box junctions, or making banned turns.

They are also given to motorists caught stopping on red routes or driving in bus lanes during operating hours. 

They will continue to be halved if paid within 14 days and increased by 50% if paid after 28 days.

All revenue from PCNs is ‘invested back into London’s transport network’, according to TfL. 

The cost of a PCN for breaches on the red route network has not increased for more than ten years and TfL claims the current rise is in line with inflation. The last increase was in April 2011 when it rose from £120 to £130.  


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