New year resolutions

Drivers to give money-raking councils a parking shock

26 January 2011

Councils who are banking on filling budget deficits with parking fine cash could be in for a shock – almost three-quarters of AA members have a New Year resolution to avoid getting tickets.

In a recent AA/Populus poll by far the most popular New Year resolution was trying to park legally more often, with 70% keen to keep parking attendants twiddling their thumbs. At 75%, women were most anxious to dodge parking fines, compared to 68% for men.

Driving less aggressively (58%) was the next most popular New Year resolution, with obeying the speed limit more at 56% – the same as driving less often.

Driving more safely (46%) and more economically (36%) were also resolutions which probably reflect the high cost of fuel.

Comment

"Too many councils are banking on extra revenue from raising parking fine levels – in London they want to charge £130. They may be sorely disappointed: high fuel prices and austere times mean fewer trips to the shops and less pressure on parking spaces." says AA President Edmund King.

"There is no justification for increasing parking penalties as compliance at current levels has improved. Yet many local authorities are now introducing parking charges on Sundays, extending parking charges until 10pm and hiking up the price of residents' parking permits."

Hard times also manifest themselves in the high number looking at driving less often (56%) and more economically (36%). This also suggests that many drivers now feel they cannot save any more fuel by changing their driving and that they are being forced to find ways of not driving.

Penalty charge notices

Recent Government figures** indicate that drivers are already complying more with parking restrictions as the number of Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs) issued on-street in England decreased by 4% from 7.41m in 2008/09 to 7.14m in 2009/10. The region with the most PCNs issued was the South East (0.80m), with the fewest in the North east (0.13m).

* AA/Populus poll of 15,199 AA members (23 December 2010 – 4 January 2011)

**DFT Civil Parking Enforcement Statistics 2009/10