Councils Plan Increase in Parking Penalty Charge Rates

Claimed that current levels not high enough to provide a deterrent

Rises could also cover bus lane and moving traffic violations
Rises could also cover bus lane and moving traffic violations

August 2, 2023

London Councils is holding a consultation into parking and traffic penalty charges which appears to be the first step in an increase across the capital.

The body represents local authorities across London and its Transport and Environment Committee is responsible for setting parking, bus lane and moving traffic penalty charges on borough roads.

The committee has not increased parking, bus lane and moving traffic penalty charges since 2011 and it says some of the current charges and additional fees including those charged for clamped vehicles have not changed since 2007 which is effectively a reduction in real terms.

Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs) are issued by councils for parking, bus lane and moving traffic regulations on roads that they manage.

The consultation on PCN levels relating to parking and traffic enforcement and other additional fees relating to parking, will run for 12 weeks.

The number of PCNs issued in London has increased by 50% over the last 12 years and London boroughs claim that the current penalty charge levels are not high enough to encourage compliance and act as a deterrent. It is suggested that many people choosing to park where they are not allowed to despite knowing they will receive a penalty charge.

The capital is split into roads controlled by London boroughs and those controlled by Transport for London (TfL). TfL has similar responsibilities to London boroughs for setting penalty charges on their own roads – the Transport for London Route Network (TLRN), or Red Routes. In 2022, following a consultation in 2021, TfL increased parking, bus lane and moving traffic penalty charges on the roads they manage from £130 to £160 with a discount for prompt payment. The current maximum penalty charge level for contraventions on borough roads remains at £130.

It is thought likely that London Councils may seek to harmonise charges levied by boroughs with those set by TfL.

There are Band A, and Band B penalty charges, depending on the area of London where the parking rules are broken. Ealing, Hounslow, Hammersmith & Fulham and Merton issue PCNs across their boroughs at Band A levels whereas Wandsworth only applies this in the area close to the riverside.

Parking band levels by London Borough
Parking band levels by London Borough

There are also Higher level and Lower level penalty charges, depending on which type of parking rules are broken. These currently range from £130 to £60.

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.

“Today’s consultation is a crucial part of the Transport and Environment Committee’s decision-making process on penalty charge levels and additional fees, and anyone who uses London’s roads can have their say on the new proposals. We are dedicated to ensuring the plans don’t negatively impact lower income and more vulnerable people and welcome all input into this consultation.”

The consultation finishes on Monday 23 October and analysis of the results will be considered by London Councils' Transport and Environment Committee on Thursday 7 December.

To respond to the consultation click here.

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