Motorists Could Face Bigger Parking Fines
Cost Of Parking Penalty Charge Notice Could Rise
The Government is considering punishing motorists by raising the cost of the parking penalty charge notice, the Telegraph has reported. As things stand, the maximum fine outside the capital is seventy pounds but there is concern that this fairly small sum is no longer a sufficient deterrent. Furthermore, the cost is inconsistent – and far lower – than the one-hundred and thirty pound fine that can be imposed in the capital city. The Government's Transport Secretary, Norman Baker, therefore told Members of Parliament that: “there is an argument that the maximum charge has not moved in a number of years”, and that it is: “coming out of line with London where it has risen regularly under both the present and the previous mayor”. Mr Baker added: "It can also be argued that if the cost of legitimate parking rises to such a degree that the penalty no longer becomes a deterrent, then that should be looked at." When pressed on what is likely to happen, he said: "I am taking all the evidence which is before me in both directions and reaching a sensible conclusion” and the issue is “not entirely in my hands".
Disadvantages Of Raising Parking Fines
Whereas there is a case for punishing those that cause disruption by parking inconsiderately, Mr Baker admitted that raising the cost of the penalty charge notice could be controversial. He therefore said: "It could be argued that any increase would send the wrong messages during a difficult time in the economy to motorists”, and that “the impact on a town centre might be detrimental if the excess charges are introduced.” There would, inevitably, also be thousands of people that assume the purpose of the rise is to raise money for the authorities rather than to encourage responsible/legal parking. Furthermore, the Automobile Association is not in favour of increasing the fine. As such its President, Edmund King, said: "It's hard enough at the moment for motorists to cope with the cost of fuel and insurance - just keeping the car running is a struggle for them. Our concern would be that local authorities become reliant on the fines as income (and that) it becomes a method of raising revenue rather keeping traffic flowing." But whatever the advantages and disadvantages - and whoever is in power - the fine will increase at some point. Inflation alone ensures it is inevitable.