A dad of four who feared financial ruin after being hit with thousands of pounds in ULEZ fines when he misread the rules.

Del Hudson, 54, said the fines incurred on his 900cc motorbike could have left him with considerable money woes.

He racked up the penalties in the month after the ULEZ zone was expanded to cover all of London's boroughs in August 2023.

Del, from Hampton, south-west London, admits he misread an email about setting up his account after an initial fine.

He then buried his head when his debts began to mount and his dog even ate two letters.

He said he isn't sure of the total cost but one of the seven fines he got was for £2,000.

But the dad was soon 'elated' when he heard news that Transport for London (TfL) had cancelled all of his fines after being approached by SWNS, a news agency.

News Shopper: Del misread rules around the ULEZ.Del misread rules around the ULEZ. (Image: SWNS)

Dad racked up thousands in ULEZ fines after rule confusion 

As Del told SWNS: "I literally couldn't believe what I was hearing.

"I jumped up into the air and shouted for joy. I was totally elated and had the happiest day I've had for a long time."

The fines come after Del claimed he didn't realise his 2000 Honda Fireblade was non-compliant. 

Upon receiving an email from TfL telling him he'd successfully registered for a London Road User Charging account last year, he was convinced he'd set up an autopay account and wouldn't have to take any further action. 

So the administration manager kept riding his motorbike and unknowingly racked up seven fines in the first month after the ULEZ zone was expanded.

Mr Hudson says he eventually learned of his fines and received 'threats' from TfL that bailiffs could soon darken his door.

News Shopper:

He said: "I have been riding my 900cc Honda Fireblade for years. It's an old bike, a 2000 plate.

"Since Covid, I've suffered with depression and anxiety, and when ULEZ expanded last year I didn't even think about the bike being non-compliant. 

"I rode it one day and got a fine. I paid it and TfL told me they would take money from my card for future fines, but I must have read the email wrong. 

"I kept riding the bike, thinking the money was going to come out automatically, but it didn't and I got four more fines."

But despite contacting TfL to ask about his fines, he says the transport authority was far from helpful in letting him know how much he owed. 

He said: "TfL issued a warrant, meaning bailiffs can come in and take my car.

"Because of the stress, I just didn't deal with it... My dog ate two of the letters. 

"If all seven fines were over £2,000, that's half my yearly wage. 

"It really got me down. TfL is making millions out of people like us. 

"They can afford to buy new electric cars, but I bloody well can't."

But after TfL were contacted by the press about Mr Hudson's fines, they waived them all in a 'goodwill gesture'. 

News Shopper: TfL dropped the fines in a 'goodwill gesture'TfL dropped the fines in a 'goodwill gesture' (Image: SWNS)

TfL said in a statement: "We are sorry for any distress caused to Mr Hudson. 

"Following a review of his case, it is apparent that the fines issued to him were correct and followed our standard procedures in the absence of an Auto Pay account. 

"As a gesture of goodwill, we have cancelled the outstanding fines and have advised him on how to set up Auto Pay.”

Del's frustration at his fines has been compounded now that he has to use his BMW 3 Series 320i car - which is ULEZ compliant.

However, he believes it is a worse emitter than his non-compliant Honda motorbike. 

He says his daily commute, on which he briefly drives on two ULEZ roads, now takes him more than twice as long. 


And due to a lung condition which makes walking difficult, taking public transport to work is out of the question. 

"The car is costing so much more and taking so much longer to drive to work," Mr Hudson said.

"It now takes 45 minutes to an hour and a quarter to get to work - whereas on my bike it takes me 25 minutes. 

"But the car is putting out more emissions than the poxy motorbike was. 

"ULEZ is just hurting the poor people. It has financially hit me hard."

Del's BMW is registered as having 'low emissions' and he claims he's been told that though his bike would easily pass an emissions test because it's over 17 years old it's not ULEZ compliant.