Ellie Ames 01 August 2023

London Councils signals hike in parking and traffic penalties

London Councils signals hike in parking and traffic penalties image
Image: sirtravelalot / Shutterstock.com.

Cross-party group London Councils is consulting on penalty charges issued for parking and traffic offences, and says it is concerned that current charges are not high enough.

Its transport and environment committee is responsible for setting the level for penalty charge notices (PCNs) on borough roads, issued when motorists breach parking, bus lane and moving traffic regulations.

The committee has not reviewed PCNs since 2010 and many of the current charges have not changed since 2007.

According to London Councils, the number of PCNs issued in the capital has increased by 50% over the past 12 years, and boroughs are concerned that the current charges do not encourage compliance or act as a deterrent.

It says there are several examples of people parking where they are not allowed despite knowing that they will receive a penalty charge.

Transport for London, which is responsible for London roads not controlled by borough councils, increased PCNs in 2022 from £130 to £160.

The current maximum penalty charge level on borough roads is £130.

Hackney mayor Philip Glanville, London Councils executive member for climate change, transport and environment, said: ‘London boroughs are committed to making our roads safe and accessible for everyone.

‘By effectively managing parking and traffic we can incentivise people to drive and park safely, protect access, crossing and junctions, and increase active travel such as walking, cycling and rented e-scooter use. We can also improve bus prioritisation, reduce carbon emissions and improve air quality.

‘We are dedicated to ensuring the plans don’t negatively impact lower income and more vulnerable people and welcome all input into this consultation.’

RAC head of policy Simon Williams described the idea of increasing fines as ‘bizarre’.

‘There’s surely only one reason why any council would need penalty charge levels to rise to keep up with inflation – and that’s if they rely on the income they receive from drivers breaking the rules. This is inherently wrong and needs to change,’ he said.

‘Instead of relying on the revenue, councils should be trying to understand the reasons why people are being caught out and improving signage, but this is never going to happen as it would cost them money and reduce their income.’

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