Drivers face £160 fine for breaking rules on London’s red routes

Published 12 January 2022

Drivers who break the rules on London's red routes will face higher fines from 17 January 2022.

Transport for London (TfL), which manages London's red routes, is increasing the penalty charge notice (PCN) from £130 to £160 to improve compliance. 

It said that there has been a 26 per cent increase in the number of PCNs issued for parking, loading, bus lane and moving traffic offences between 2016 and 2019.

The cost of a PCN for contraventions on the red route network has not increased for more than 10 years (the last increase was in April 2011 when it rose from £120 to £130) and the £30 increase to £160 is in line with inflation rises since then, according to TfL. 

It made the decision following a public consultation

Penalty Charge Notice 

Commenting on the fine increase, RAC head of roads policy Nicholas Lyes said: “While most drivers accept the need for enforcement to make roads safer and less congested, this increase in the level of fine is pretty eye-watering and not far off the fine for a serious motoring offence such as illegally using a handheld mobile phone. 

“This change also comes after a recent permanent hike in the Congestion Charge and the expansion of the Ultra-Low Emission Zone which means driving in and around central London could well become even more expensive for some of the capital’s beleaguered drivers.”

"This increase in the level of fine is pretty eye-watering". RAC head of roads policy Nicholas Lyes

TfL said the increase will bring the charges in line with the penalties for non-payment of the Congestion Charge and the Ultra-Low Emission Zone, which are also currently set at £160.

Any revenue raised through these penalty notices is invested back into London's transport network, which includes investing in its road network to improve safety for all road users.  

>>>Read our guide to the Ultra-Low Emission Zone

Siwan Hayward, TfL's director of compliance, policing, operations and security, said:“Non-compliance impacts London's air quality, creates safety risks, disrupts traffic and creates congestion for everyone. 

“Increasing the penalty charge for contraventions on our road network in line with inflation will provide a more effective deterrent to drivers and improve the safety and reliability of the network."

The penalty charge will still be reduced by 50 per cent if paid within 14 days and increased by 50 per cent if paid after 28 days. 

1What are London's red routes?

Red routes are some of the busiest roads in London. They make up  fiveper cent of London's roads but carry 30 per cent of its traffic.

They exist to "allow traffic to move safely and efficiently", according to Transport for London (TfL), which manages them. 

2What are penalty charge notices (PCNs) issued for?

Penalty charge notices (PCNs) can be issued for contraventions on London's red routes such as:       

  • Parking illegally in loading bays .     
  • Blocking yellow box junctions. 
  • Making a turn where this movement is banned, which creates risk for people walking and cycling.     
  • Driving or parking in a bus lane .
  • Stopping on the red route.
Ask HJ

I got fined for driving in a bus lane - do I need to notify my insurer?

I was picked up on camera driving in a bus lane and fined £60. Does this count as a conviction and do I have to inform my insurance company?
A conviction is when you get points on your license, if you do not get points then it is not a conviction. You would not need to notify your insurer as a result.
Answered by Tim Kelly
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Ask HJ

Parking Eye fine - cameras set to wrong time

I was recently pinged by Parking Eye for a £100. It turned out they had forgotten to move all their camera clocks in the same car park back by one hour so a drive in out without parking was clocked as 1 hour and 1 minute not just 1 minute. Probably elsewhere and people did not realise the extra hour was wrong so not a fair penalty, please warn your readers.
Thanks for letting us know about this. You can appeal parking fines on private land for free through POPLA (see but you will need evidence to support your appeal. If that isn't successful you can seek advice from the Citizens Advice Bureau.
Answered by Sarah Tooze
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David Braddock    3 days ago

What a bunch of total m****s. To improve compliance - do they really think people are happy to accept £130 fines but £160 will make them stop.

   3 days ago

Surely it’s easier just to put the times that you cannot stop ie 0700 to 1000 and 1600 to 1900, or 7-10 am and 4-7 pm if you find that easier rather than the times stated and then have to work it out.

Eric Green    3 days ago

Very little to do with traffic regulation, , everything to do with raising revenue.

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