Transport for London (TfL) is getting tough on illegal parkers after it took delivery of 21 new high-tech removals trucks.
The trucks will operate on the red route network, which carries around 33% of the capital’s traffic.
The new vehicles, which will be in operation 24 hours a day, are fitted with satellite navigation and automatic number plate recognition software.
This means they can identify and seize vehicles used by drivers who persistently fail to pay parking fines.
In addition, traffic wardens can now link directly to the trucks’ computers and alert the closest one to the location of a vehicle that is illegally stopped.
Illegally stopped vehicles will be issued with a £120 on-the-spot fine and if they are towed away will be subject to a £200 additional fee plus a daily storage charge of £40.
The money collected through fines is is put back into improving London's roads and traffic control, says TfL.
A pilot project indicated that journey times on the red route network will be reduced just 4% as a result of the new service.
The trucks have been operating on a reduced basis since November and will be extended across London during this month.
“Illegally parked or broken down vehicles that block roads cause congestion and are a danger for other road users,” Patrick Troy, head of traffic enforcement, said.
“Our new vehicles are fitted with state of art technology that will help to keep London’s busiest roads clear and the traffic moving by removing obstacles quickly and efficiently.
"Our goal is simply to take swift action where cars are blocking roads and help other drivers to keep on the move, particularly during major events in the capital.”