London Councils have launched a public consultation on proposed increases in penalty charges for parking and moving traffic offences. Needless to say they think they should be increased but they don’t provide any evidence to support any change. Most such infringements take place accidentally and the charges are already high enough to deter misuse.
Parking penalty charges have increased rapidly in recent years as London boroughs have tried to maximise their income. The charges should be reduced not increased and there should be no additional penalty for appealing.
We have covered several examples of money generation by local Councils from PCNs. For example, for illegal turns, infringement of yellow box junctions, infringement of bus lanes and other “moving traffic offences”. See coverage of complaints about Bank junction in the City of London, and by Westminster and Hackney councils in our blog. These often arise from poor signage that drivers fail to spot. These are rarely deliberate infringements but are simply caused by unfamiliarity with the road and simple oversight. By using automated camera systems, councils can quickly generate hundreds of thousands of pounds in revenue. Appeals against the fines rarely succeed.
Sometimes it appears that changes to roads are often implemented by councils with the knowledge that drivers will be caught by unexpected route changes and poor signage.