Clean Air Zone: Driver wins appeal after Sheffield City Council said his Land Rover was a van

James Harrup-Brook says his Defender 90 is not a van - and a Traffic Penalty Tribunal adjudicator agrees.
James Harrup-Brook says his Defender 90 is not a van - and a Traffic Penalty Tribunal adjudicator agrees.

A driver is calling on Sheffield City Council to make automatic refunds to owners after winning a dispute over Clean Air Zone fines.

The authority fined James Harrup-Brook twice for driving his Land Rover in the CAZ, claiming his vehicle is a van.

He insisted it is a car and won his appeal to the Traffic Penalty Tribunal Service, which quashed a demand for £280.

 (Photo: Sheffield Council)
(Photo: Sheffield Council)

Now he is calling for a stop on charging for all such vehicles and automatic refunds for owners who have been fined.

James, of Sussex, owns a two-door Land Rover Defender 90 which has factory-fitted rear seats, seat belts and windows.

His online appeal to the city council was rejected "within seconds," he said. But the independent tribunal adjudicator sided with him.

James said: "Anyone can see it’s a car and I was hoping common sense would prevail but the council was very stubborn.

"The adjudicator said it’s clearly not a van and I think the council should now refund owners of similar Defender 90s and 100s, otherwise people are being ripped off.

"I spent hours researching this and represented myself. It would be a travesty if others went through the same stress that this has caused myself and my family for over three months."

In an email to Mr Harrup-Brook, council chief executive Kate Josephs insisted the ruling only applied to him.

She wrote: "To be clear, an adjudicator's decision is on a specific case and circumstances. It does not automatically apply to similar cases retrospectively. We will consider any further contact from individuals who drive Land Rover Defenders, who have a station wagon variant, on a case-by-case basis."

The Star asked the city council how many fees and fines had been issued to drivers of similar cars and whether it would stop charging them in the CAZ but did not receive a reply.

The zone launched amid controversy on February 27. It charges older vans and cabs £10-a-day, and buses and lorries £50. The boundary follows the inner ring road.

It is run by Sheffield City Council. In the first five months drivers paid almost £2m in fees and fines, but the authority is refunding almost £500,000 due to a printing mistake.