European governments have argued that hundreds of thousands of EU citizens have been wrongfully penalised for driving in London’s Ulez zone.
Transport for London (TfL) has been accused by five EU countries of getting the identities and addresses of their people who are visiting the British capital unlawfully in order to impose fines totaling more than 320,000.
The penalty notices, some of which are for thousands of euros, were first issued in 2021, the year that Sadiq Khan’s Clear Air programme was introduced.
According to The Guardian, a French driver was fined £25,000 by TfL even though his car was exempt.
The transport spokesman for the Liberal Democrats in the London Assembly has demanded an immediate investigation.
Following Brexit, the UK is no longer able to automatically access the personal data of EU citizens, and TfL has been accused of getting the data illegally by five European nations.
Claiming that Euro Parking Collection, the contractor enforcing Ulez abroad, obtained the driver details include France, Germany, Belgium, Spain, and the Netherlands.
Due to the alleged unlawful means by which their personal information was obtained, more than 100 French drivers are suing TfL, while truck drivers from the Netherlands are contesting fines over £6.5 million.
Belgium MP Michael Freilich has accused TfL of using European drivers as a “cash cow” in order to obtain money through incorrect fines.
Many of the drivers who were given fines were not aware that they had to register their vehicles prior to coming to London. Therefore, those who planned a spontaneous trip to the capital were essentially guaranteed a fine.
Freilich said: “This is possibly one of the largest privacy and data breaches in EU history, but so far no concrete action has been taken while responsibilities are being shunted on to drivers.”