Birmingham City Council has given up on chasing £2.7m worth of controversial CAZ fines, with those in charge even admitting it would be impossible to recover all of the money owed in penalties.
Around 50,000 motorists are being fined every month – apparently significantly more than how many decision makers thought would fall foul of the rules.
This failure to correctly predict the number who would owe fines every month has meant the council simply doesn’t have the resource to be able to chase all of the lost penalties, meaning many are escaping punishment.
Now data has revealed around 1 in 20 fines are being written off whilst an additional 10,000 fines have been successfully appealed.
The launch of the CAZ has been particularly controversial – as they appear to be everywhere – with Birmingham Live reporting back in October how over half of drivers being fined every month are simply refusing to pay up.
The council initially predicted just 69,000 fines would be imposed, whereas the actual number was 470,000. All in all this means the City Council was able to generate £20 million during the first eight months of the scheme alone.
The CAZ costs £8 a day for cars which don't meet emissions standards although drivers who fail to pay are hit with fines of £120, cut to £60 if paid within 14 days.
A Birmingham City Council spokesman said: “The purpose of the Clean Air Zone is to improve air quality in the city centre. Since its introduction it has helped reduce the number of the most polluting vehicles that enter the zone every day. This is helping to improve air quality.
“The majority of people who need to pay the daily fee do so in the 13-day payment window. We would encourage anyone driving into the city centre to check whether or not they need to pay the fee.
“If someone believes they have been incorrectly issued with a Clean Air Zone penalty charge notice for not paying the correct daily fee they are able to challenge it through the statutory appeals process.”