The RAC Foundation has voiced concern about the fairness and effectiveness of proposals to raise the level of penalty charges in London from £130 to £160 in an effort to improve traffic flow and road safety.
TfL says any money raised will be reinvested in the capital’s transport network and that drivers would still get an early payment discount (up from £65 to £80).
However, responding to the TfL consultation, the RAC Foundation argued that:
- High non-compliance figures can be as much a symptom of poor signage and road layout as wilful disobedience
- Those who knowingly fail to pay the congestion charge or who consciously commit other traffic offences are unlikely to be deterred by an increase in the penalty charges if the current, already-high penalties have not prevented their actions
- In the case of those driving for commercial reasons, the cost of a penalty is likely to be regarded as the cost of doing business and will simply be passed on to customers
- In certain cases, TFL is arguably failing to properly monitor, deter and penalise offenders under the current laws
- There should not be two-tier penalty regime which would be the case if there was a charging differential between TfL roads and borough roads