London Councils has published data on parking enforcement and appeals in London for the 2021-22 financial year, ending on 31 March 2022.
This year’s figures show that the London boroughs, London Lorry Control Scheme and Transport for London issued a total of 7,472,886 Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs) to motorists who they believed had contravened parking, bus lane and moving traffic regulations. This represents an increase in PCNs issued of 41.3% from 2020-21, as traffic flows and parking demand increased after the pandemic, and enforcement authorities in London recommenced their enforcement operations in all areas.
It should be noted that due to reduced enforcement activity during the height of the pandemic in 2020-21, figures are not overly representative. With respect to pre-pandemic figures (from 2019-20), this shows an overall increase of 21.4% of PCNs issued.
This was largely due to an increase in the number of Moving Traffic Contravention (MTC) PCNs issued of 55.42%. The main reason for this has been the introduction of the new Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTNs) and School Streets. These came into force to manage traffic flows and encourage social distancing during the pandemic, whilst also improving road safety and air quality, especially around schools for the protection of school pupils and residents within the locality.
Parking and traffic management provide important benefits for pedestrians, cyclists, motorists, and communities throughout London. These include maintaining road safety and access for Londoners to employment, goods, and services.
Traffic rules and regulations also play a critical part in reducing congestion and helping to make London’s streets safer for everyone. Whilst it is a small minority of drivers who fail to follow the rules of the road, enforcement is necessary to encourage all drivers to drive and park in a considerate and safe manner.
If drivers believe they have received a PCN in error, they are encouraged to appeal to the authority that issued the penalty. If they are not satisfied with the outcome, they can appeal to an independent adjudicator via the relevant independent appeals service at London Tribunals.
The number of all appeals received by London Tribunals in 2021-22 has increased by 37.4% from 2020-21 levels. This is largely due to the increase of 54.7% of MTC appeals and the increased levels of enforcement due to LTN’s and School Streets, as well as a general indication of increased traffic flow back to pre-pandemic levels. The numbers of parking and bus lane appeals are down from pre- pandemic levels.
Statistics indicate that the total percentage number of appeals allowed is down from the previous year to 42.8%. This is an historically low level and reflects efficient practices by authorities in considering representations more effectively before cases proceed to appeal, and improved enforcement operations.
The number of MTC appeals allowed is also down to 38.3%, despite the large number of PCNs being issued and appeals lodged. This indicates that in the main, authorities implementing new restrictions have done so correctly, ensuring that signs are in place and utilising CCTV and ANPR evidence in the manner intended to capture contraventions.
All income from PCNs is put towards paying for the provision of essential traffic and parking services. Any surplus is invested in other important transport projects, such as the Freedom Pass concessionary travel scheme for older and disabled Londoners.