Council grabs a huge £22,000,000 in parking fines over two years

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The council make 22 million pounds from parking tickets in two years

A staggering £22 million has been raised from parking fines in Islington over the last two years – despite a decrease in the number of parking enforcement officers employed by the council.

Data obtained under a Freedom of Information request shows that from January 2013 to December 2014, 416,608 parking tickets were given out and a total of £21,924,076 was raised for the council.

Islington council currently employs 123 parking enforcement officers across the borough. However, from January 2013 to March 2014 the council employed 135 parking enforcement officers.

The data also includes tickets that were given out using CCTV operators.

Despite the reduction in officers, £11,641,755 was raised in 2014 compared to £10,282,321 the previous year.

The trend of an increase year-on-year looks set to continue.

January 2015 registered a significant increase from 2014. The amount raised was £863,258, compared to just £791,823 in the same month last year.

Andy Silvester, campaigns director at the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “It’s hard to shake the suspicion that hard-pressed motorists are being used as a cash cow. Islington is a busy borough and it’s right that there are some parking restrictions in place, but it’s important they they’re proportionate and that fines are a last resort.

“Motorists will be stunned by this figure and will hope that the money is ploughed back into the road network.”

This was echoed by Andrew Allison, head of campaigns at the Freedom Association, who said: “Islington appears to be determined to raise as much as it can out of motorists for the most minor infringements.

“Parking fines exist to keep the public highway free from obstructions, and should not be used as an alternative source of income.”

Regarding the CCTV fines, Emma Carr, director of Big Brother Watch, said: “Too many council CCTV networks have become a means of boosting their revenue, with millions of pounds in fines being handed to drivers across the country.

“The public will rightly want to know how much of the £22m Islington Council has put back into making parking easier and safer for local residents.”

A political party was set up in Islington ten years ago to contest the council’s parking policy called Local Freedom. The founder, Tim Newark, said: “Islington is notorious for making money out of parking fine misery. Our party won hundreds of votes and the parking regime was modified in Highbury Barn, but it seems the council has learned little from then and is still raking in millions.”

However, the policy was defended by Martin Klute, Labour councillor for St Peters ward. “The fines are needed, and possibly need to be increased to reduce the number of parking offences,” he said.

This was supported by the Green party councillor for Highbury East, Caroline Russell. She said: “Parking wardens keep the roads safe for people on foot, those with disabilities and people on bikes and deter anti-social parking – blocking dropped kerbs etc. They are paid for out of the revenue from fines. We need as many as are required to deter anti-social parking.”

The enforcement officers do not work on performance-related pay, but the service is outsourced to a private contractor, NSL Services. As part of this agreement, civil enforcement officers have no targets for the number of parking tickets issued. NSL Services are penalised by the council for any wrongly issued tickets.

4 COMMENTS

  1. Marin Klute is right because, turning his statement around slightly, if the number of parking “offences” (correct term: contraventions) goes down, the fines will need to be increased to keep the money flowing in. Islington council has turned parking enforcement from a duty to keep the roads clear and safe, into a cash generating industry. It was never meant to be like that.

    CCTV enforcement has now fortunately been banned by the government, and Islington issues more tickets with less wardens because a lot of them are now no longer on foot but patrol a given area much more quickly on mopeds or in smart cars. And Caroline Russell should know that dropped kerb enforcement is one of the most highly contentious and unfair areas of parking policy; she should read all about it on the internet.

    Finally, it is untrue that CEOs/wardens are not given targets. An ex-warden used to work for me, and said if he issued less than four tickets on his shift he would be hauled in front of his line manager for a telling off, with the threat that he might eventually lose his job if he didn’t up his output.

  2. We must simply stop paying for the fines that are clearly unfair and used to generate cash for the council.
    Is it simply extorsion and we should unite and not tolerate this serious abuse. Some people might have good jobs and be able to pay, but others are unable and the system exploits us regardless of the effects it will cause on already difificult financial situations and even on our health and stress levels.
    I am not a regular driver although I do rent sometimes. I parked at 8am, opposite the charity shop in Highbury round about to drop of two bags of clothes and got a £160 fine which I was unable to pay and it raised to £500 causing me serious distress and health problems. This is unacceptable and they place traps around the borough to catch inexperience drivers and just milk money out of us without considering our difficulties. Many of this traps don’t have any benefits for traffic, they just simply money making traps !!! Has anyone successfully challenged any of this type of fines ??

  3. Why all the moaning from car drivers, London has an extensive public transport system so why so reliant on your private four wheels? If you choose to drive everywhere and expect to park as near to your destination as possible expect to pay for that privilege and stop moaning.

  4. I arrived in London with my Belgian car around noon on a Monday, I received a fine because I left the car parked on one of the many parking places on the street, for the few minutes I was upstairs chatting with my airbnb hosts. I went downstairs, the parking enforcement vultures were right there. they had marked my car at 13:37 and issued the fine at 13:40. I looked around the neighbourhoos for a street where the parking was allowed outside the 10 am – 2 pm period and left the car there, with the intention to go every morning during my stay here and move the car… somewhere… I wasn’t quite sure where I’d go for the next 4 hours since I had just arrived in London. I woke up slightly late, and got to my car at 10:07 am. The parking enforcement was just leaving, after sticking a nice fine in my window. As a visitor, it is very hard to predict this kind of situation. also, as a visitor, it is IMPOSSIBLE to take the necessary measurements in acquiring a parking permit. so yes, I realize it is actually become a business and there are a handful of people who most certainly fill their pockets with a great deal of those pcn money. Not only this is the most unwelcoming city I have ever been in (so I got 2 parking tickets in the first 24 hours of being here), but as I look around the internet and dig into this system, I am completely disgusted. It feels like an Eastern European corruption story which dates for years and years and it will last for many other years to come because NO ONE can do anything about it.

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