London takes the lion’s share of parking fines

Marion Dakers

WESTMINSTER Council has kept its title as the biggest parking fine issuer in the country, handing out penalties worth more than £24m to motorists last year, according to figures out today.

The council issued more than 455,000 penalty notices in 2013. This is more than twice the number of the next biggest issuer included in the research, Newham, and enough for at least two fines per resident.

Research by insurance company Churchill found that UK councils issued fines worth £255m to drivers last year. Though less than half of the country’s councils responded to Churchill’s freedom of information requests, all of the top ten respondents were in London.

The City of London issued tickets worth more than £4m last year, making it the sixth-biggest by penalty value within the research.

Full figures on parking penalties in London boroughs during the 2012-13 financial year can be found here.

“The capital is extremely congested so we’d expect to see a higher number of restrictions in place and penalties being issued. However, there is a fine line between fair and opportunistic that councils shouldn’t be tempted to cross,” said Steve Barrett, head of Churchill Car Insurance. AWestminster City Council spokesperson said the council issued half the number of tickets that it did a decade ago and is cutting the use of CCTV in parking enforcement.

“However we can’t get away from the fact that Westminster has some of the busiest roads in the country and we need to manage the flow of traffic, so it’s unsurprising we are at the top of this list,” she said in a statement.

The Department for Communities and Local Government is running a consultation on the sometimes over-zealous methods used when enforcing parking rules in the UK.

Local government minister Brandon Lewis told parliament last month that councils in England are set to make £635m in net profits from parking fines in 2013-14, up 5.6 per cent on the previous year.

•This article was edited on 15/4/14 to include a link to the full parking penalty figures for London and make clear that less than half of all councils were included in the Churchill research.

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