London parking fines will go up by a tenner next week. Well, at least for the ‘most serious’ parking offences. Fair play in my view. It’s just a shame that parking in a legal space costs more than ever.
After a public consultation, London Councils and Transport for London (TfL) have decided to put the price of parking penalties up from £120 to £130.
That’s just for the ‘most serious’ offences, such as parking on a double yellow. Lesser transgressions, such as overstaying at a parking meter, will stick to the current £80. In outer London, the penalty will rise to £110, with less serious offences staying at £60.
Fines are fair enough
Before you start throwing rocks at your council – perhaps we should be happy with the decision? With more money coming in from illegal offences they could use this money to improve roads and car parks in the city.
TfL’s interim director of congestion charging and traffic enforcement, Nick Fairholme, is quick to point out that fines aren’t there to make money:
‘We enforce traffic regulations to keep the Capital’s busiest roads moving safely for the benefit of all road users, not to raise revenue.’
Still, TfL admits that any dosh leftover from enforcing these parking rules will be quite rightly spent on improving transport. So you’d hope that the price of parking for law-abiding drivers would be going down.
Put parking prices down
Of course, this isn’t the case. In February, our parking expert Tim Pitt argued that charges should be going down. Why? Because guidelines stipulating that town centre parking charges should be high were abolished.
Yet, instead of using this freedom to reduce charges, many councils have done exactly the opposite. In fact, Tim couldn’t find one example of a council that had decided to reduce charges. In London alone, nine of the 32 councils have hiked charges. Sure, fine us when we break the law, but should drivers be punished for legal parking?
Commenter Michael agrees, ‘I understand that services have to be paid for, however they are killing local shops because people prefer to go to a free supermarket car park’.
However, Richard thinks it’s an essential income for councils, ‘My Local council has a cut of £35 MILLION imposed annually – but is expected to continue to maintain the SAME level of services. And you expect them to CUT parking fees? Rubbish’.
As far as parking fines, remember you can appeal them if you feel you’ve been unfairly given a ticket – more than eight million parking tickets are issued every year in the UK, and nearly half come from local authorities in London. And don’t be put off by commenter Emma’s experiences:
‘I had a parking fine issued outside my flat, while I had a parking permit displayed. The council claimed it was partly obscured. True enough, it was obscured. By the rain. Moral of the story? Never park a car outside in the rain… that and always appeal if you feel you are genuinely in the right!’
In case you wanted to know, the council apparently ‘let off’ Emma in the end. But do you think councils should be allowed to up the cost of parking fines?