Mercedes driver fined 2, 2,340 Birmingham Clean Air Zone criticizes council over mistake

A Birmingham-based Mercedes driver who was fined a total of £ 2,340 for driving in the city’s clean air zone has criticized the city council for giving him the wrong ticket. James Hammond of Manworth in Sutton Coldfield deliberately bought a 2003 Mercedes S500l when his current Mercedes C220 diesel car was found to be in violation of City Council’s Clean Air Zone (CAZ) emissions limit. ۔

He then drove in a new car to Birmingham’s CAZ in March and April this year, thinking he was OK after checking in with the government’s Clean Air Zone checker. Within a month, James visited the city 13 times, each time with a fine. But since it took a month for the council to issue the charges, it did not know, and ‘misfortune’ ended with 13.

He was shocked when fines began to descend on his door and immediately checked with the DVLA, which confirmed that his vehicle was in compliance. In total, he received fines of £ 1,560, but this has increased to £ 2,340 as he appeals to them.

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Mr Hammond said the fines now cost more than his car – but he was appealing to them in principle. The problem arose when he moved a private number plate from his old 2000 diesel car to his five-liter 2003 petrol Mercedes. The DVLA confirmed that the switch had been made, but Birmingham City Council Systems said its car was not compatible.

The 39-year-old company director told Birmingham Live: “I bought a 2003 petrol model and checked before I could use it at the CAZ. Changed. It’s five liters of petrol but that’s fine, when I don’t have 2.2 liters of diesel.

“I got a private number plate ‘V21 JMH’ from DVLA and have been on the same Mercedes for over 20 years. But when I put it on the ‘new’ Mercedes I got a lot of CAZ fines, 13 of them. , When I went to Birmingham and didn’t know about the mistake.

“I called the Birmingham City Council after checking on the official website what the level of Co2 emissions was and the site said my car was compatible.”

The 2003 five-liter Mercedes S500 complies with Clean Air Zone rules but has been fined more than £ 2,000 for its private number plate.

He continued: “But the city council said there was no diesel in 2003. I said, ‘I’ve changed the number plate, not the emission.’ Taken as 2000 model, which is incorrect.

The DVLA said the 2003 car had a CAZ complaint and also confirmed that the number plate had changed. They were very helpful. But I have been told by the council that I have to appeal separately for each ticket. Is.

“When I spoke to a City Council person … they treat you like a criminal. He said, ‘Go online and appeal.’ They need some training. Sometimes they always Are not correct

Mr Hammond said: “Now that the payment period has passed, they can take my car or come after my money, even though I have appealed against the decision.

“It may take them 21 days to respond to the appeal but you have 14 days to pay a minimum fine of £ 60, or 28 days to pay a maximum fine of £ 120, after which it is £ 180. If you feel like going to the CAZ for a car that doesn’t comply, you can pay the £ 8 fee six days in advance or six days later. “

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The frustrated businessman on Kingsbury Road added: “All I want to do is help other people who are in this situation. I am a Mercedes man and can’t use my car because of the clean air zone.

“I’m ready to fight it but someone who is more vulnerable – a little old woman or man – and they are threatened with bail that they can pay when they don’t need me.” Three times was on the phone for 45 minutes from DVLA and was on hold for two hours with City Council. If you are weak then this is a joke.

“The main problem is that the city council is not taking care of the number plate change. The second penalty comes about a month after the visit. I got the first fine for the March 25 trip but I got it on April 22.

“As I drove, I was given 13 more fines before I knew the car was a problem. It’s too long. Also, the charges should not be increased when you are appealing to them.”

The Private Number Plate Had Been On A Non-Compliant Diesel Mercedes For Over 20 Years But Had Been Converted Into A Birmingham Clean Air Zone Licensed Petrol Car.
The private number plate had been on a non-compliant diesel Mercedes for over 20 years but had been converted into a Birmingham Clean Air Zone licensed petrol car.

Birmingham City Council was asked about the private number plate issue but did not respond. A spokesman for the authority said: “Anyone who receives a notice of a penalty charge may choose to pay a standard charge of £ 120 or, if paid within 14 days, they will have a reduced charge. There is an option.

“Alternatively, if the person believes that the penalty notice was issued incorrectly, they may choose to file a challenge. If a person chooses to challenge the penalty charge notice, he or she will have the notice Up to 28 days from the date of issue and the challenge can be submitted online or by post.

To make this process as clear and transparent as possible, the Penalty Charge Notice contains the basis for the challenge under relevant legislation, and the Council has issued clear guidelines on how it understands all representations.

“If someone is unhappy with the council’s decision to reject the challenge, they have another right to appeal or to challenge the penalty notice in the later stages of the proceedings.”

Have you had problems with Clean Air Zone or do you think it works well? Give your opinion in the comments below.

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