Boris Johnson MP today welcomed the Transport Secretary Chris Grayling’s intervention to prevent the Mayor Sadiq Khan hiking penalty charges on London motorists by an eye watering 23%.
Sadiq Khan had approved TfL’s proposals to increase the penalty charge level for parking, moving traffic and bus lane infringements in London from £130 to £160.
TfL is reported to be facing a £968million loss this year with the Mayor’s failed fares freeze leading to TfL pausing upgrades to the Northern and Jubilee lines and cancelling a Metropolitan line extension.
TfL had argued that the increase was necessary on the basis that a growing number of penalty charge notices are being issued, suggesting the £130 charge was becoming less effective at deterring infringements. The Mayor accepted this argument.
However, having reviewed the evidence, the Transport Secretary judged that there was no clear upwards trend in the number of PCNs issued by TfL for road traffic infringements since 2014 and that PCNs issued for bus lane infringements have in fact fallen for four years. While penalty notices have a role to play in enforcing the rules of the road, he has concluded the proposed 23% hike in the penalty charge level is excessive and has therefore blocked the proposal.
Commenting, Boris said:
“I am delighted the Government has intervened to prevent Sadiq Khan from punishing London drivers to fill the black hole in Transport for London’s finances created by the Mayor’s failed fares freeze.
We don’t believe hitting working people with stealth taxes to make up for politicians’ failures is right and it is good news this excessive hike has been blocked.”