Issue with TfL’s ULEZ appeals process exposed

Over 10 incorrectly issued PCNs for one coach; TfL acknowledges system has not functioned correctly

Westway Coaches is continuing to receive numerous London Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) penalty charge notices (PCNs) for vehicles that comply with Euro 6 even after earlier PCNs have been successfully appealed.

The saga has exposed a possible glitch in Transport for London’s (TfL) system for appeals, and a separate issue for coaches bearing cherished registrations.

‘Wasting time’

Westway says that one of its coaches, a 2016 Van Hool with a cherished mark, has generated over 10 incorrectly issued PCNs since the ULEZ’s introduction.

All have been appealed successfully by sending the V5 document showing Euro 6 compliance to TfL, but Health and Safety Manager Stephen Maull says that the ongoing issue has wasted significant management time. Several other coaches have also generated multiple incorrectly issued PCNs.

TfL says that when the first successful appeal is processed, its system should place a marker by the vehicle registration noting that it is compliant to prevent the issue of further PCNs.

“A procedure is in place when compliance is proven that allows our system to recognise that a vehicle meets ULEZ standards,” says a spokesman. “On this occasion, it has not worked correctly.”

TfL is looking into why. It acknowledges that Westway has done everything correctly when appealing. How the same issue should be dealt with if it occurs again is not yet known.

Cherished problem

TfL points out that its software does not obtain details of registration changes from DVLA in real time. It updates at set intervals, meaning that when a mark is changed, the details of the previous holder may be used as the basis for issuing a PCN if it was not Euro 6.

Separately, Mr Maull says that when V5s are issued without the Euro rating included, it has proved difficult to obtain a replacement with the information included to submit to DVLA, and that one manufacturer is particularly reluctant to provide the necessary information.