Residents concerned as money raised from parking fines increases in Lambeth


The council insists it does not set any targets for issuing tickets


By Douglas Patient

Residents have voiced their concern as car parking fines earnings by Lambeth Council increased by over 5% in the borough since 2010.

Figures obtained through Freedom of Information found the amount of money raised increased 5.17% since 2010, from £6,133,039.45 in the years 2010/11 to £6,467,411.96 in the years 2012/13.

Some residents have been unhappy with the way that fines are being dished out.

Ray Palmer, a Lambeth resident, said: “Even when you are right, Lambeth Council issues a parking fine. Theft!

“It’s as if Lambeth are using their own internal staff to defer all driver appeals with negative clauses set as standard.”

Stockwell had the biggest increase in the amount of money raised from fines, over 17% since 2010, with Brixton and Clapham increasing around 10% and 6% respectively in the same time frame.

Lambeth’s penalty charge notices range from £60 to £130 fines.

A spokesperson for Lambeth Council said: “As with all boroughs, there are certain areas which are busier than others, therefore various parts of Lambeth, particularly Brixton town centre and north of the borough zones, are more likely to be affected by the levels of road users, parking habits and seasonal trends.

“Interpretation of the amount of fines and recovery thereof could raise more questions about offender behaviour than Penalty Charge Notices!”

The Parking Management Act prohibits councils from setting targets for the number of tickets they issue. 

The council deny that it is setting targets for issuing parking fines.

A spokesperson for Lambeth Council said: “Our contractors have been given guidance that they can expect issue between 205,000 and 207,000 tickets a year. This is not a target – it’s a figure issued so the contractor can forward plan the number of staff they will need.”

Money raised from fines in Stockwell increased from £488,079.81 in the years 2010/11 to £591,785.78 in the years 2012/13.

Imogen Walker, Lambeth cabinet member for Environment and Sustainability, said: “In Lambeth we have a very well-run parking department that helps keeps our roads clear and is effective at encouraging drivers to park legally.”

Photo courtesy of Sparkes, with thanks.

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