We have asked for views on our proposals to increase penalty charges for people who break parking rules.
This consultation ran from 16 March to
28 June 2020.
Over the past four years we have effectively enforced parking restrictions, but this has not provided enough of a deterrent to reduce the number of penalty charge notices (PCNs) being issued. There has been a 25% increase in the number of PCNs issued for parking contraventions between the financial years 2015/16 and 2018/19.
Our powers to issue penalty charge notices come from the Traffic Management Act 2004, and the primary aim of that act is to encourage compliance. We believe increasing PCN charges is essential to act as an effective deterrent and to reduce the number of vehicles parking in contravention.
We propose to change PCN charges in Merton from Band B to Band A as shown in the table below. These bands and charges are set by a body called London Councils.
The main benefits of this proposal are as follows.
Traffic flow and congestion
A higher penalty will help reduce vehicles stopping in places which hinder traffic flow, including where people are stopping at bus stops and hindering bus stopping, adding to journey times and congestion.
Protection of spaces for dedicated users
Merton already has some spaces that are reserved for the use of specific users, including those disabled badge holders who qualify for a dedicated disabled bay.
Vehicle turnover in paid spaces
Merton's parking charges for casual parking and car parks are set to reflect local needs and to support local businesses and services. A higher PCN charge would help to ensure that vehicles are not left longer than paid for, longer than the maximum permitted time and making it more likely that visitors can find a space close to their destination.
Improved safety and reduced obstructions
Higher sanctions are aimed at improving safety at school pick-up and drop-off times. Another source of concern is vehicles parked across driveways or blocking access for refuse collection vehicles. Such behaviour is an annoyance and obstruction to local residents, and at worst it has potential to endanger children and block access for emergency vehicles.
A report was submitted to the council on 5 February 2020 and the proposal was approved subject to the results of this consultation.
Penalty Charge Notice - Change in banding level
Council meeting Wednesday 5 February 2020 7.15 pm
12 March 2020 - Official notice of consultation
1 May 2020 - Extension to 31 May
1 June 2020 - Extension to 28 June