/ Travel & Leisure

Parking fines go up – shouldn’t parking prices go down?

Parking fine on car window

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?

Comments
Member

If you really think that a Council reeling from massive cuts from the Condem “government” will cut their income even more by reducing parking charges – You are living in Cloud Cuckoo Land!!

Remember Universities were supposed to charge a maximum of £9000 in “exceptional circumstances”. They like any business strapped for cash by the appalling “government” policy have raised their charges to the maximum. Why should Councils be any different???????????

Member

Thanks for the comment Richard – but don’t you also disagree with the way most universities are signing up to the maximum £9,000 tuition fees? So why do you agree with councils charging so much for parking in this case? Two wrongs don’t make a right.

Member

Patrick

I did not say the raising or keeping parking charges is right – I’m saying they have no choice because the appalling government has reduced the amount of money the councils have to do the same job To expect them to do otherwise is living in cloud cuckoo land. My local council has had a £36 million cut in government grant – the highest in London and in a deprived area. They have no choice but to keep parking charges the same or higher.

The same is true of Universities – They are faced with massive cuts in funding – yet are expected to teach the same numbers of students – the only option they have is to raise the student fees to the maximum they think the students will bear. The reason there are differences in the amount demanded is only due to the differences in the student’s parents ability to pay (support) – the rich will pay. The poor have much more difficulty I think this is short-sighted – just as most Tory policy is and has been short sighted and only benefits the rich.

It has nothing to do with “two wrongs don’t make a right”

This government is wrong to make these cuts so deep and so fast – Parking and Tuition fees are two sides of the same appalling coin of Tory policies to aid the rich.

Member
Sophie Gilbert says:
11 April 2011

If you don’t want to get fined, don’t park where you shouldn’t. I’m even wondering if parking fines aren’t too cheap. Hit people where it hurts. And like Patrick says, if you feel it’s unfair, appeal.

I’m fed up with cars parked eg on double-yellow or even double-red, obstructing my way and everyone else’s, including sometimes potentially the emergency services, creating very dangerous situations, just because some people have the arrogance to think that they’re above this sort of thing, or that they know better or some such stupid reasoning.

Member
Eddie Reynolds says:
13 April 2011

For years, New Labour bleated on that wheel clamping by private companies must be stamped out and I believe ‘wheels’ are in motion by the present government to regulate this lucrative industry.
The gangsters who run those companies intimidate drivers, demanding cash and the same gangsters get assistance from the DVLA in obtaining driver details when according to Watchdog on TV, they have no legal standing when issuing their three figure fines for a 5 minute infringement.
Are the DVLA not aiding and abetting criminals, or is it just making an easy £3million a year in co-operating with the gangsters.

Member

Eddie

The Condems “regulation” is to ban all clamping – totally stupid – So people that own private land have no means to stop the lousy drivers who park all over their property. The council can clamp and fine – but the private owners cannot – Quite frankly the lousy drivers who park on private land should have their cars crushed. Why should I suffer massive inconvenience from lousy self-centred car drivers using my property to avoid paying parking fees??

Member
sean says:
17 April 2011

Small business already suffering high business rates! Many small business shops closing down every day Increasing parking fines? NO should go down? YES
using parking fines as a business or way to make money? No penalty should be use in this way.
I heard many council had invested millions on Iceland banks!!! and many local authority chief executives earning more than PM.

Member

NB Pledge Pledgebank / Fix My St / Islington e- petitions[ they reworded]

Most London LAs are ignoring the Chronically Sick and Disabled Act 1970 with
the hospitals colluding as franchised out . If you raise issues you are
condemned as vexatious litigant so can harrass and ignore by giving PCNs with
no fair hearing as the Independent Appeals Centre is not being managed fairly
by London Councils as it too has no designated parking preventing you getting
a fair hearing so they can fine you unfairly. When asked they give false
facts that they have enough that is accessible [ none at front at back an
automatic barrier prevents too far away causing me to not access urgent
treatment from a Camidoc.