‘Rubbish system’: Birmingham car tax zone slammed by driver who was fined despite paying

Birmingham: Clean Air Zone signs seen across the city

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Corinna Silver believed she had done everything correctly only to be landed with a £120 penalty charge notice (PCN). She has a receipt to say she paid the charge and thinks many other people could be affected by the same “flaw” of the payment system.

Birmingham’s Clean Air Zone (CAZ) was launched in June 2021 in an attempt to reduce the levels of harmful nitrogen dioxide.

It operates 24 hours per day, 365 days a year, with non-compliant vehicles needing to pay to drive through much of the city centre.

Drivers pay to drive in the zone once per day, then they may drive in the area without limit on that day.

Those who own high-polluting cars, taxis and LGVs will pay £8 to travel in the city, whilst coaches, buses and HGVs pay £50 a day.

Failure to pay within six days will lead to drivers facing a £120 fine.

This is part of an ambitious plan which could see all private cars banned from driving through the city centre by 2031.

Ms Silver, who is a road safety officer for Telford and Wrekin Council, visited Birmingham on September 3 in her Mini Cooper to volunteer at a local arts festival.

She drove through the CAZ and paid £8 for the journey on September 6, but then received a fine in the post.

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After challenging the fine, she was told by the Government’s CAZ team she had paid for September 6 rather than September 3.

She has attempted to challenge the fine twice but claims she has had no response from Birmingham City Council.

A number of other drivers have been fined by Birmingham’s CAZ, despite some having never driven to the city.

Ruth Costello has received 19 fines despite living in West Sussex and having never driven to Birmingham.

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