An investigation by the Sunday Express has revealed the most fine-heavy roads in Britain, where motorists are most frequently picking up parking penalties or driving in forbidden bus lanes. According to the results, London’s drivers are the most hard-hit by fines and penalties, with one London street racking up a huge £20,000 per week in fines. Chiswick High Road, Hounslow, West London, saw over twenty thousand individual tickets issued to drivers for various road and parking offences in the last financial year, hauling in a total of £1.4 million in fines.
Council bosses have revealed that the large majority of fines were issued thanks to the parking offences being picked up by CCTV cameras which spot drivers which park or use the bus lanes illegally. A number of other roads in the capital city also saw huge revenues brought in from fines, including High Street, where £932,000 was raised from motorists and Southampton Row, Camden which brought in fines totalling £768,000.
Outside of the Capital
Outside of London, Railway Terrace in Derby hauled in the highest number of fines, with drivers being hit with a total of £290,000 to pay. Second on the list was Birmingham’s Alum Rock Road, with motorists racking up a total of £273,000 in fines last year.
But, the fines are not being welcomed with open arms. Local councils and authorities have been warned to stop treating drivers as ‘cash cows’, and last April, new laws were introduced by the government to crack down on councils and parking cowboys who rip drivers off with unfair fines. The use of CCTV ‘spy cars’ has also been banned; ending the controversial automated fines landing on drivers’ doormats and being issued in industrial volumes.
Despite these new laws and guidelines, recent figures show that Britain’s motorists racked up a record £1.44 billion in council parking charges alone last year, with a huge £328 million of this amount being in parking fines alone. This means that car owners and drivers are paying out a massive £164,000 per hour to town halls in England for parking charges, parking permits, pay and display tickets and parking fines.
Recently, a spokesperson for the Department of Communities and Local Government hit out at councils using over-zealous parking enforcement as a means of raising money. He said that councils need to realise that this over-zealous enforcement of parking laws results in unfair fines, bringing up the costs of living and undermining the high street. He suggested that instead, local councils should be focusing their efforts on supporting local businesses and championing town centres.
But, Hounslow Council defended their parking enforcement practices. Cabinet Member for Parking Cllr Richard Poole said that since a lot of vehicles use Cheswick Road, CCTV systems and parking enforcement practices are vital to ensure that traffic can move safely and without unnecessary hindrance.
If you want to avoid parking charges when travelling to London by car you can check out yourparkingspace.co.uk, a parking pre-booking platform, to make sure that you have a safe and legal parking spot ready in advance.