"Money-grab" - Sadiq Khan plans to increase London’s red route fines to £160

Drivers could soon have to part with even more cash after Transport for London (TfL) launched a consultation on hiking the maximum fine on the capital’s red routes by £30.

This follows an announcement last week that the increased Congestion Charge of £15 – at first thought to be temporary – will remain in place.

RAC head of roads policy Nicholas Lyes condemned the recent move, labelling it a “money-grab” and expressing concerns that Mayor of London Sadiq Khan is “waging a war on drivers and businesses that rely on their vehicles”.

An increase in fines for red route offences – along with others such as blocking yellow box junctions, breaking parking rules, performing illegal turns and driving in bus lanes – would mean motorists forking out a maximum penalty charge notice (PCN) of £160, up from £130.

Red routes are London’s most important roads. Although they only make up 5% of the total road length, they carry more than 30% of the capital’s traffic.

In a statement, TfL said: “Fines would be reduced to £80 if paid within 14 days. All income from PCNs is re-invested by TfL, to cover the cost of enforcement and schemes to reduce road danger.”

The public consultation – launched on TfL’s website – will collate people’s opinions on the PCN changes via a survey until 19 September 2021. If the increase in fines goes ahead it will be the first rise in 10 years, which TfL says would be “in line with inflation”.

It also says increasing fine amounts for offences such as illegal parking will deter motorists from breaking rules and therefore prevent the obstruction of “vital deliveries and collections”, as well as reduce delays for buses and emergency services.

Siwan Hayward, TfL’s director of compliance and policing, said: “London’s network of red routes plays a vital role in keeping people moving across the capital and it’s really important that everybody follows the rules that are in place to keep roads clear and people safe.

“We’d much rather people follow the rules than fine them, and the proposed increase in fine is intended to increase compliance with the rules and make streets safer, cleaner and less congested for everyone.

‘I’d urge people to have their say on these proposals and we welcome all feedback on our plans.”

RAC head of roads policy Nicholas Lyes said: “Only last week, the Mayor announced hikes to the Congestion Charge, and now he follows this up with an unnecessary hike in the penalty charge level.

“The previous levy should have been a sufficient enough deterrent to prevent contraventions, so this rise appears to be nothing more than a money-grab.

“It's starting to feel like the Mayor of London is waging a war on drivers and businesses that rely on their vehicles with another eye-watering hike.”

Have you been caught out by London's red routes? Let us know in the comments below.

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