Peterborough motorists receive £400k in parking fines

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Motorists in Peterborough were fined £400,000 last year for parking offences.

A Freedom of Information (FOI) request to the city council has revealed 14,903 Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs) were handed out in 2018, bringing in £401,306.94.

However, this is down significantly from 2017 when 19,537 PCNs were handed out, bringing in £562,651.40.

All the fines relate to parking offences.

Cambridgeshire County Council did not respond to a FOI request.

RELATED: Ex-Peterborough MP candidate wins court battle over parking fine at city car park

The total income made from PCNs across the UK reached more than £326 million in 2018 from nine million PCNs, according to the data obtained by Confused.com.

This includes fines for offences such as parking, misusing a bus lane or box junction, or turning right illegally.

According to the website’s research, which saw an online poll of 2,000 UK adults who drive, almost half (48 per cent) of UK drivers have received a PCN. Of these, two in five (40 per cent) argued their case, with most ppeals (74 per cent) resulting in paying a reduced fine, or nothing at all.

Drivers gave several reasons for refuting their PCN, with most (29 per cent) blaming unclear or confusing signage for the mishap.

Sixty per cent of drivers who received a PCN did not challenge the fine, with one in eight (13 per cent) of these put off by confusing information online about how to appeal.

A further 17 per cent also claimed they did not know how to appeal, while 17 per cent of those who did challenge their fine found the process difficult, or confusing.

More than half of those polled (52 per cent) claim if they had more clarity about how to appeal a PCN, they would have challenged an unfair fine.

Confused.com has now created a checklist which drivers can use to form the basis of their appeal. The checklist covers parking and moving traffic offences.

The most money received from PCNs was in Westminster, where Westminster City Council received more than £16.5 million from more than 313,000 PCNs in 2018.

This averages out at £53 per fine. Councils in London pocketed the highest collective total, making more than £175 million from nearly four million PCNs.

Manchester City Council handed out the most PCNS (598,060) but received the fifth highest amount (£12.2 million).

Amanda Stretton, motoring editor at Confused.com, said: “The fact that almost three-quarters (74 per cent) 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.

“In the meantime, we’re helping people fight unfair fines and navigate through the chaotic appeal process. Our challenge checklist should help motorists decide whether to appeal a fine and guide them through the process. With the cost of motoring ever-increasing we shouldn’t be forking out even more money to pay for unfair fines.”