Council confirms consultation on raising parking penalty charges

Redbridge Council agrees to consultation to hike car parking penalties

Redbridge Council has agreed to consult on increasing the cost of parking penalty charge notices (PCNs) in the borough. - Credit: Redbridge Council

A consultation is to take place on plans to increase parking penalty charges amid council concerns about the effectiveness of the current deterrent.

The Recorder first reported on these potential changes on June 2, which would see Redbridge move from a band B to band A charging system for parking misdemeanours. 

In practical terms, the sanction for "higher" category offences would increase from £55 to £65 if the parking penalty charge notice (PCN) is paid early, rising to £130 from £110 if not.

The "lower" category penalty would jump from £30 to £40 if paid early, and from £60 to £80 if not. 

A consultation - subject to which these changes will be implemented - was agreed at last night's cabinet meeting (Tuesday, June 8). 

Speaking at that meeting, councillor Jo Blackman (Lab, Wanstead Village) explained: "Whilst band A was intended for inner London, the PCN rates have not increased since 2010 and inflation has eroded the deterrent effect of a PCN."

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Referencing an accompanying report, the cabinet member for the environment and civic pride said the growing number of PCNs issued each year demonstrated that the current financial sanctions do not act as a sufficient deterrent.

Figures in the report show that the number of PCNs issued in Redbridge rose from around 100,000 in 2015/16 to about 175,000 in 2018/19.

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This figure dipped in 2019/20 to 149,462, when the parking team had no permanent management.

The numbers increased once again for the 2020/2021 financial year, where there were 159,032 recorded PCNs.

This was despite the lockdown imposed as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, which also prompted the introduction of various parking concessions.

Cllr Blackman said that, but for these factors, the numbers would have been much greater.

She said: "A number of outer London boroughs already have PCN band A, such as Croydon and Enfield." 

She added that others - including Barnet, Ealing, Hounslow, Brent, and Merton - are "in the process" of moving.

The cabinet signed off on a six-week consultation, during which parking account holders will be invited to contribute.

A survey will also be advertised on the council's website.

Should the cabinet approve the plans, an application will then be made to London Councils. 

If approved by that body's transport and environment committee, a further application will be made to the Mayor of London.

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