Transport for London to Pay for Erroneous Information

An announcement has been made by government ombudsman Dr Jane Martin on an item of interest to van owners throughout London. Transport for London (TFL) has taken responsibility for the erroneous information that it provided to van owners regarding the need to either pay a hefty fine or else replace their vans due to changes in the Low Emission Zone. As a result of the information, many van owners went out and replaced vehicles that were actually totally compliant; as a result of the error, TFL will be compensating those who replaced their vehicles costing them hefty sums of money.

The ombudsman’s report indicates that TFL did not adequately check the information that they were providing, nor did they suggest that owners check for themselves to see whether the information being provided was accurate. In all there are thirty five van owners who will be compensated; five of them actually filed complaints with the ombudsman, while the other thirty complained directly to TFL.

The incorrect information that had been provided indicated that owners would have to pay a daily fine of £100 or face a penalty of five times that amount for non-payment, and suggested that van owners could either replace the vehicles or make modifications to bring them into compliance. In the thirty five named cases, the information that was sent out was incorrect – the vehicles in question fell within the regulations, and did not need to be replaced or remedied, but because the letter was so specific, the van owners relied upon the information at great expense to themselves. The payout will reach into the tens of thousands, as each vehicle owner will be given a sum of fifteen percent of the purchase price of their newly purchased vehicles.

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