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European drivers launch £6.5million ULEZ fine legal challenge | UK | News UK News

Sadiq Khan has been dealt a potential blow by lawyers representing furious European firms whose drivers have been issued “unjust” fines for travelling through London’s low emissions zones.

Lawyers acting on behalf of Transport in Nood BV, which represents dozens of Dutch lorry firms, have claimed up to €7.5 million (£6.517 million) of fines were unlawfully issued to companies based in the Netherlands.

The lawyers have said 10,000 fine notices were wrongfully issued after drivers’ vehicles were caught in the controversial Ultra Low Emission (ULEZ) and Low Emission (LEZ) charging zones from November 2022.

The legal action – the first of its kind issued against TfL and its debt collection agency, Euro Parking Collection (EPC), on behalf of foreign drivers – aims to launch a judicial review against the agency in the high court.

And the lawyers have warned that, while they are only representing drivers from Holland, it is likely “not the only country” to have been stung by ULEZ and LEZ fines.

Speaking to the Daily Telegraph, Antonio Jose Calado Oliveira, owner of Transport in Nood BV, said the unfair fines have bankrupted some Dutch firms.

He said people have “really been impacted” by the penalties, forcing them to sell their trucks and leaving them “in tears”.

Mr Oliveira added: “We are launching this claim to get the fines that have already been paid to be repaid, and the court costs. We are talking millions of pounds.

“We are only talking about Holland, it must be even greater across Europe, we are not the only country of course.”

Transport in Nood has now enlisted UK law firm Smith, Bowyer and Clarke to represent them and submitted an application for a hearing in the high court.

TfL launched the ULEZ in April 2019 and expanded the zone in August this year to cover all of London’s 32 boroughs.

Drivers of vehicles that don’t comply with emission standards travelling through the ULEZ must pay up to £12.50 a day, with non-compliance penalties reaching £180.

The LEZ, which covers most of Greater London, demands £3,000 from companies whose drivers fail to meet highly-polluting heavy goods vehicle standards.

Both locals and foreign nations – whether private citizens or companies – must pay to travel through the zones, and TfL uses the EPC to chase fines outside the UK.

A spokesperson for TfL said the agency has “received a claim relating to Penalty Charge Notices from claimants based in the Netherlands” and representatives are “considering our response”.

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This notice was published: 2023-12-28 18:36:00

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