London Councils has published data on parking enforcement and appeals in London for the 2020-21 financial year, ending on 31 March 2021.
This year’s figures show that London boroughs and Transport for London issued a total of 5,289,447 penalty charge notices (PCNs) to motorists who they believed had contravened parking, bus lane and moving traffic regulations during 2020/21. This represents a 14.05% decrease from the previous financial year.
A reduction in parking PCNs of 26.2% to 2,903 979 was the main driver of this decrease as councils responded to the Covid-19 pandemic by changing and adapting enforcement priorities to facilitate parking for key workers. Many councils heeded national advice by suspending enforcement in certain areas in response to changing demands for parking. They also issued permits for key workers during the lockdown to help individuals undertake their vital work and services when travel choices were restricted and continue to support the care and NHS workers.
There was an increase of 14.9% in safety critical moving traffic PCNs to 2,091 632. Much of this related to the introduction of new schemes such as Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTNs) and Safer School Streets to improve road safety and air quality. This facilitated social distancing and the increase in the use of sustainable transport modes, such as walking and cycling as people sought alternatives to public transport during the pandemic and to manage an increase in personal car use.
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 jobs, 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. While 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 way.
If drivers believe they have received a PCN in error, they are encouraged to appeal to the enforcement 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 appeals received by London Tribunals in 2020/21 reduced by 9.7% to 32,767. Much of this can be attributed to the reduction in parking PCNs. The ratio of PCNs issued to appeals lodged remained constant at around 0.6%.
Statistics indicate that the total percentage number of appeals won by the appellant fell slightly to 51%, although this figure has remained static over the last five years.
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.