Council chiefs in Bristol are refusing to return £31million in fines from their Ulez scheme despite every charge having incorrect wording.
Some of the mistakes included naming regulations that didn’t exist.
The project’s chief has admitted that every charge for the Clean Air Zone (CAZ) had been worded incorrectly.
But Bristol City Council’s executive director John Smith told councillors there was no risk of a successful legal challenge and that legal advice had said that the inaccurate wording “wouldn’t make a difference to the enforcement”.
Council chiefs in Bristol are refusing to return £31million in fines from their Ulez scheme despite every charge having incorrect wording
Last year, a man challenged the city’s CAZ after alleging there were around ten errors in the fines.
He claimed that the fine incorrectly told drivers they could not pay and appeal at the same time.
Challenger, John Lyon said due to a number of mistakes, the charges issued by the scheme were invalid.
Smith admitted that “there was a reference to the wrong piece of legislation in one of the notices” and it was corrected in December last year.
However, Lyon argues that the council should at least waive the 160,000 unpaid fines in the system.
He added that as the fines were issued unlawfully, Bristol City Council should repay the £31million in penalty charges.
Around 570,000 fines were issued up until November 30 since the launch of the scheme in November 2022, according to the city council’s figures.
Lyon has claimed that CAZ warning signs did not meet the Government’s standards for road signs.
The project’s chief has admitted that every charge for the Clean Air Zone (CAZ) had been worded incorrectly
The Council dispute this. Conservative councillor Steve Smith, the council’s executive director told Bristol Live: “There were some items that we’d spotted that were a challenge, there were some items that that individual spotted which we hadn’t, which were a challenge, which we have now resolved.
“We got legal advice that said it wouldn’t make a difference to the enforcement but, as I said, we have overall taken the approach of trying to be sympathetic and where people are or have had issues or flagged things so we’ve not pursued them.”
Lyon said he will continue to battle against the CAZ fines.