Havering Council made more than £7million from penalty charge notices last year
PUBLISHED: 07:00 15 July 2019 | UPDATED: 11:54 15 July 2019
An increase in the number of penalty charge notices issued by Havering Council from 2017 to 2018 meant that the local authority received more than £7million from fines last year.
According to a Freedom of Information Act request (FOI) from Confused.com, in 2017 Havering Council issued 120,778 penalty charge notices (PCNs) which generated £5,800,142.
In the following year, 2018, the number of PCNs that were issued increased to 131,743 and this generated £7,446,931 for the council.
This includes fines for offences such as parking, misusing a bus lane or box junction, or turning right illegally.
Councillor Osman Dervish, cabinet member for environment, said: "PCNs are not about making money but are to help ensure people adhere to the rules of the road and drive and park in a responsible safe way.
"The money recouped from PCNs go back into the upkeep and repair of our roads and pavements.
"Unlike many other councils which have slashed spending on highways, we have recently launched our £40m investment campaign to fix our roads and pavements including potholes over the next four years.
"Residents told us that this was a priority, and we have listened.
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"All the locations where we enforce PCNs are designed and sign-posted in accordance to guidelines and make clear the restrictions in those locations."
The total income made from fines by London local authorities last year reached more than £326million from nine million PCNs.
Westminster City Council received the most money from PCNs with 313,012 fines being issued in 2018 and an income of £16,555,556.
Confused.com discovered nearly three in four (74 per cent) of motorists who appealed their fine were successful and paid a lower amount or none at all.
The data also revealed that confusion around signage was one of the main reasons that drivers were being fined.
Amanda Stretton, motoring editor at Confused.com, said: "The fact that almost three quarters (74pc) of PCN appeals were successful last year suggests that some fines are being issued unfairly.
"Challenging an unfair fine can be both complicated and daunting. The appeal process is confusing and needs to be made clearer.
"With councils raking in over £326 million in PCNs, it's only right that some of this fine money is invested to help make road signs clearer to eliminate the number of fines being distributed unfairly."
Visit confused.com to see the companu's challenge checklist for drivers.