A motorist has been left in a “complete muddle” after racking up over £3,000 in Clean Air Zone (CAZ) fines.
Cleo Burrows says she is at her wits’ end thinking about what she can do next. She initially believed she had six days to pay the £9 after receiving a letter confirming she drove in the Bristol CAZ.
According to the Bristol City Council website, the daily charge can be paid up to six days before travel, on the day of travel, or within six days after travel.
Now though, Cleo has landed a number of fines, reports BristolLive. They started arriving through her letterbox from April this year.
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She said: “I’m a really fair person and I own a diesel car which is not compliant so I have to pay the diesel charge to travel into Bristol.
“I had been working a lot and was shocked when I got this letter saying I would have to pay £60. I started getting a whole bunch of letters coming almost every day from April up until June.
“I called them the other day and was really shocked to hear that I have fines of over £2,900. It was such a massive shock. I thought the letter gave you six days to pay. I find it all a bit complicated and I have so many letters now that I feel so confused. It’s got me in a complete muddle.”
Drivers do have six days to pay the charge, however by the time the letter is sent out, this is telling them they are required to pay the fine and not the charge itself.
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Cleo says the council has offered to set up a payment plan so she can pay the fines. However, she says event that came to an unaffordable amount.
She added: “I also go into London regularly but you can open an account with ULEZ and put your card details.
“Every time I go to London the charge is automatically debited which makes it much easier. I have a hectic schedule and often work from 7am to 7pm, but now I’m being vigilant and trying not to go through town. It’s been so stressful”
According to the Bristol City failure to pay the daily charge will result in a penalty charge notice of £120. This is reduced to £60 if the PCN is paid within two weeks.
When the CAZ was brought in last year, the city offered temporary examptions for local vehicles to give them time to prepare. These included private passenger cars, vans or LGVs not registered with a business.
Bristol City Council has not commented on Cleo’s case.
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