Parking fines on the up despite cost-of-living crisis

By Ben Stevens

The number of parking fines and bus lane penalty notices being issued is on the increase despite the ongoing cost-of-living crisis, data suggests.

Information from Open Leicester confirms that 2022 is set to be the year with the third most penalty charge notices (PCNs) issued, behind 2018 and 2019 only.

The data also shows that the number of PCNs distributed has steadily increased month-by-month over the course of this year, with 5,883 fines issued out in January and 7,399 in September.

The amount of penalty notices sent out for driving in a bus lane, where prohibited to do so, is also on the rise and is currently at its highest level for 12 months.

3,302 bus lane penalty charge notices were issued in October 2022, the highest since October 2021, which itself was the highest since the Covid lockdowns of 2020.

Wigston resident Lydia Whitehead, 37, who regularly commutes into the city centre said: “Driving through the bus lanes during the rush hour when you are not supposed to is easily done, especially if you are new to the area, so I’m not surprised to hear that the number of fines is going up.

“There are more people using the roads now that people are going back to offices after Covid, so that could help to explain it.

“I just hope nobody uses that as an excuse to tighten the regulations or up the fines.”

Although September was the month where the most parking fines were distributed, it was also the month that generated the least income from these fines, data from Open Leicester suggests.

Despite the fact that nearly 7,400 PCNs were handed out, Leicester City Council generated only £143,385 from the fines, having made nearly £40,000 more from significantly less fines in January.

This suggests that more people are chancing parking their cars, not paying for a ticket and subsequently getting caught, or perhaps that people simply aren’t paying the fines that are sent out to them.

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