With the increasing efforts to make London’s air healthier, more and more areas in the city are seeing traffic restrictions. No doubt, good news for our lungs, but the changes might also bring some unwelcome surprises in the shape of PCNs, short for Penalty Charge notice.
With so many traffic restrictions in London, PCNs can add up if you’re a professional driver. These expenses are completely avoidable, but only if you’re well-informed.
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These are the top green areas in London with a high risk of getting a PCN:
Many residential streets in the Hammersmith and Fulham area are joining the so-called Low Traffic Neighbourhoods, restricting non-local traffic from passing through. The council monitors these roads with number plate recognition cameras and issue PCNs for drivers without an access permit.
There are signs as you approach these sections, just make sure not to miss them when you’re in the area.
There are two adjacent zones in the City Fringe that are restricted to walking, cycling and low emissions cars during peak hours (Monday to Friday, 7 am to 10 am and 4pm to 7 pm). These are called ultra-low emissions streets or ULEV Streets, and the restrictions are enforced by the Hackney Council.
Be careful not to confuse them with the ULEZ or Ultra Low Emission Zone, which is also aimed at improving air quality, but it covers most of Central London, and more importantly, it’s enforced by TfL. Read more about TfL’s driving restrictions in Central London
Your car meets the ULEV standard if it emits less than 75 grams of CO2 per km and it’s capable of a zero-emission range of at least 10 miles. This includes fully electric cars and plug-in hybrids. Check out our Ultimate Uber cars guide for drivers to learn more.
Beech Street is the UK’s first 24/7 zero-emission street, that allows access for pedestrians, cyclists, electric buses and zero-emission cars. The entrances are monitored with number plate recognition cameras.
Along with the new experimental traffic scheme, they’ve added point closures, so only bikes and pedestrians can enter from Golden Lane and Bridgewater Street junctions. For now, the trial period is set to run until November 2021, but it will likely be made permanent if it has a significant impact on the area’s air quality.
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