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17 November 2023, 03:17

Glasgow LEZ fines are unenforceable

A significant number of drivers have seen their Low Emission Zone (LEZ) penalty charges annulled following a tribunal's determination that Glasgow City Council committed a "procedural error." The Transport Appeal Tribunal for Scotland concluded that the LEZ fines lacked enforceability because the council failed to serve them using recorded or registered post.

Between June and September, over 20,000 LEZ fines were issued, and the recent ruling has led to the overturning of 38 penalties so far. The council's spokesman clarified that these decisions don't mandate the refunding of already paid penalties.

In a pivotal decision regarding an appeal against an LEZ fine, the tribunal established that it was obligatory for any fixed penalty notice sent by post to be tracked. The first appeal decision was rendered on October 11, with 37 more appeals accepted based on this criterion.

Glasgow City Council has responded by ensuring that all LEZ penalty charge notices are dispatched through tracked delivery since the conclusion of October. Despite this, the council maintains its stance that those implicated in these cases are still liable to pay their fines. Appeals against the tribunal's decision in these instances are being pursued to the Upper-Tier Tribunal.

This development follows the Court of Session in Edinburgh affirming the legality and appropriateness of the LEZ on October 31, subsequent to a legal challenge by Glasgow business owner William Paton.

Up to the present, the council has generated £478,560 from LEZ fines, with an outstanding sum of £830,070. The number of unpaid fines for penalties issued between June and September currently stands at 7,213. Since the LEZ's initiation on June 1, over 20,000 fines have been issued, including 27 fines on vehicles owned by the council itself, which the drivers are required to pay.

A noteworthy observation is that in September, 89 vehicles incurred the maximum £960 fine, applicable when a vehicle is penalized for the fifth time. Moreover, 83 drivers faced penalties for the fourth offense, amounting to £480.

This development occurs in the context of similar schemes scheduled for introduction in Edinburgh, Dundee, and Aberdeen next year.

Notes to the editor

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