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Redbridge Council wants to increase parking fines to inner-London levels because the current cost “has not proved an effective deterrent”.
On Tuesday June 8, the council’s leadership agreed to consult residents on the plan, which would see all fines across Redbridge increase by £20.
Drivers who committed less serious offences, such as parking in a car park without paying, would be fined £80 instead of £60, while worse offences would be fined £130 instead of £110.
More expensive fines were originally intended for central London but council officers argue the rates have not moved with inflation since they were last set in 2010.
Speaking to members of the overview scrutiny committee on Monday June 7, cabinet member for civic pride Cllr Jo Blackman said this had “eroded the deterrent value” of parking fines.
She noted that other outer-London boroughs, such as Croydon and Enfield, had already increased fines, while Barnet, Ealing, Hounslow, Brent and Merton were considering it.
At the overview meeting, Cllr Judith Garfield (Lab, Barkingside) said she welcomed the proposal, adding: “Many residents are really unhappy with people parking across their driveways, on corners or on pavements.
“It makes driving really unsafe. I think if this is a deterrent, that’s really useful.”
Cllr Howard Berlin (Con, Fairlop) expressed concerns about the consultation process, pointing out that many residents may not notice the invitation to comment on the council’s website.
Cllr Blackman responded: “I’m keen to ensure our consultation is put on the website, as that can enable quite wide participation.
“There are not currently plans to do a borough-wide mail-out, I’m not sure we could justify that for this consultation.”
Officers estimate the council receives around £10 million a year from parking fines, despite the fact only around 70 per cent of fines issued are paid.
This means that, if the fines are increased, the council could receive as much as £3.3 million extra each year, depending on how many fines are for serious offences.
The council will now carry out a six-week online consultation, consulting parking account holders and advertising it on the council’s website.
The application to increase fines will then be submitted to London Councils’ transport and environment committee, who will consider the consultation results.