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Councils making £850,000 a year from ‘cash cow’ motorists

Written by: Emma Lunn
Councils are issuing an average of 63 parking fines a day, with drivers caught breaking the rules typically paying a £37 fine.

Research by Compare the Market found that councils are charging more than £850,000 in parking fines a year on average – but some local authorities levy more than 10 times that amount.

The research found that the London Borough of Newham is the parking fine capital of the UK. Newham council issued 239,000 fines between July 2019 and August 2020, and raked in more than £10m in revenue.

Nine of the 10 local authorities taking in the most cash from parking fines are in Greater London and include the boroughs of Haringey, Ealing, Lambeth and Fulham, with each council collecting more than £4m in revenue in fines each year.

Outside of London, the City of Glasgow and Birmingham City Council were the local authorities most likely to issue a ticket. Wellington Street in Glasgow and Alum Rock Road in Birmingham are the top parking fine hotspots in those cities.

Compare the Market found that the average parking fine issued by councils across the UK was £37, rising to £41 on average in the 20 local authorities that made the most revenue from parking fines.

Drivers in London Borough of Haringey, Gosport Borough Council, and Durham County Council were issued with the highest fines costing them £72.04, £66.25, and £57.93 on average respectively.

In the past year local authorities, on average, issued nearly 23,000 parking fines – with the 20 authorities that issued the most fines handing out nearly 2.2 million fines between them.

Up and down the country local authorities are issuing 63 parking fines a day – rising to 307 fines per day by the 20 local authorities issuing the most fines.

Dan Hutson, head of motor at Compare the Market said: “Parking fine revenues are a cash cow for many local authorities. Up and down the country drivers are regularly being caught out by tight parking restrictions. With the third lockdown now in place, we would encourage drivers to take extra care and attention when parking up their car to ensure they avoid a parking fine.”

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