Thousands of drivers get Ulez fine near south London McDonald’s drive-through

Warning signs: 6,899 fines have been issued in the McDonald’s location since last November (PA Archive)
Warning signs: 6,899 fines have been issued in the McDonald’s location since last November (PA Archive)

Thousands of drivers may have received £160 fines after visiting a drive-through McDonald’s in south London.

Transport for London has revealed that almost 7,000 drivers who had failed to pay the £12.50-a-day ultra-low emission zone levy had been caught near the Eltham Road branch.

The 24-hour restaurant sits just inside the new Ulez boundary, which extends up to the edge of the A205 South Circular Road at this location.

Two enforcement cameras have been put up near the junction, and are responsible for 6,899 fines over the past 11 months. TfL revealed the numbers in response to a freedom of information request asking how many drivers had been fined “eg, for turning off the A205 to get a coffee at McDonald’s on the corner and exiting back onto the A205”.

A TfL spokesman later clarified to the Standard that not all of the drivers fined would necessarily have used the drive-through. But it said it would work with McDonald’s and Greenwich council “to ensure that the Ulez boundary is as widely communicated as possible”.

The Ulez was expanded to the suburbs — up to but not including the North and South Circular roads — on October 25 last year. It began with a four-week amnesty — meaning drivers who failed to pay did not receive a fine. But since November 22, a total of 6,899 fines have been issued in the McDonald’s location.

If all the tickets are paid at the £160 rate — rather than the £80 discounted rate if paid within a fortnight — it would generate more than £1.1 million for TfL.

There are two Ulez signs at the adjacent traffic lights on Eltham Road, on the entry route to the McDonald’s from the South Circular. But one driver who was caught out told the Standard: “The signposts should be clearly displayed and prominent for all motorists to see and at the moment they’re not.”

The number of fines at the location peaked last December, when 1,242 were issued. The number then fell to 154 in June but has begun to rise again and 498 tickets were issued in September.The TfL spokesman said: “The boundary to the ultra-low emission zone in this area is well signposted and… only drivers of the most polluting vehicles are required to pay the charge.”