Top five breaches

1. Using restricted roads when a journey could / should have been taken entirely by the use of excluded route network

This is regarded as a serious breach, because in these cases "minimal use" of restricted roads means zero. For example, going to the Sainsbury's depot in Lombard Wall, Charlton SE7. This destination must be reached entirely by the use of Excluded Roads, which is approaching off the A102 near the Blackwall Tunnel, via either Dreadnought Street, or Peartree Way, both of which are Excluded, onto the Excluded Bugsby Way. Lombard Wall is off Bugsby Way. This is the fully compliant route, but drivers fall foul by coming off the A102 onto the restricted section of the A206 Woolwich Road. This small section of road is residential, highly complaint sensitive and can easily be avoided, so we will issue a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) for this, even if the vehicle has permission.

2. Shortcutting

This is coming off the ERN too soon. An example of this is a vehicle travelling west on the A406, destination Park Royal. This destination must be approached either from Abbey Road, or northbound from the A40. But, instead of staying on the A406 to these exits, drivers tend to turn off too soon and head south from the A406, via Brentfield Road.

3. Traversing

This is ‘joining up’ Excluded Roads by the use of restricted roads.  An example of this is a vehicle coming in from the west on the A4, with a destination in Camden.  Instead of turning north onto the A406 and then east onto the A40/A501, the driver continues east on the A4 to Hammersmith Broadway, then turns north onto the A219 and picks up the A40 at Wood Lane.  All the distance travelled on the A219 to ‘join up’ the A4 and the A40 is additional restricted road usage; not ‘minimal use’ and therefore not in compliance.

4. Unnecessary journey

This is using the restricted roads during the prescribed hours when the delivery is say, 9am. Even in London's traffic it does not take 2 hours to reach any delivery / pick up point from the ERN, so a driver does not need to be travelling on restricted roads during the prescribed hours for a delivery / pick up scheduled so long after the controlled hours end. This aspect of the rules is primarily aimed at those drivers and operators who come in early to beat congestion. Permission is not granted to allow drivers to come in early, park up somewhere near the intended destination, then carry on after the controlled hours have ended. This is regarded as abuse of Scheme and we will issue a PCN for this, in the same way as if the vehicle is caught off route.

5. When a vehicle has no destination in London and the M25 should be used

Recent examples include a vehicle travelling from Nottingham to Dover, caught driving south on the A5 Kilburn High Road. The most commonly occurring journeys include the Woolwich Ferry, particularly at weekends. The access roads to the ferry are restricted on both sides of the river. But drivers travelling from, say, Essex to destinations in Kent, or vice versa, instead of using the M25 (particularly if they have to pay the toll at the Dartford Crossing) take the opportunity of a free trip across the river, via the ferry. This is a clear-cut breach because the vehicle had no business in London at all.