Sheffield Council is facing up to repaying as much as £500,000 in clean air zone (CAZ) fines after they were issued with the wrong time when the clocks went forward.

It said it was aware of “a technical error”, which resulted in 4,700 penalty charge notices being issued to drivers in the city.

The journeys impacted are those that were made into the CAZ from Sunday 26 March 2023 to Thursday 6 April 2023, plus one additional case on Wednesday 12 April.

The council said the error occurred at a third-party supplier level when the clocks went forward from Greenwich Mean Time to British Summer Time.

It was unable to provide information on how many hauliers were affected as we went to press.

The council said it was now in the process of refunding all paid PCNs with the incorrect timestamp and for those who had already paid the PCN, the council would retain the cost of the CAZ charge and refund the outstanding amount.

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Sheffield Council also said those with outstanding PCNs will have a new PCN issued, but they will be given the option to pay just the CAZ charge within 13 days, rather than both the CAZ charge and the PCN charge.

Sheffield’s CAZ went live in February, with non-compliant HGVs having to pay £50 a day to enter the inner ring road and city centre.

The Class C CAZ affects non-Euro-6 trucks, as well as light goods vehicles, buses and coaches.

Councillor Joe Otten, chair of the waste and street scene committee, said: “We were disappointed to learn of this technical error and staff from our third-party suppliers and the council and have been working to rectify the issue.

“Affected drivers will be contacted by letter this week, outlining next steps. I urge motorists to keep an eye out for their letter so we can ensure this situation is resolved for everyone as soon as possible. We want to take this opportunity to apologise to all those that are impacted and for the inconvenience associated with this issue.”

Ben Miskell, chair of the council’s transport, regeneration and climate policy committee, said it was committed to combatting NO2 levels in the city: “While this issue is extremely disappointing, and we had anticipated some teething issues, we have been assured this error has been rectified and we will be closely monitoring the CAZ PCN systems going forward,” he added.

“We share the frustration we know those affected will feel with this.”