Fines for illegal parking and loading in London have been frozen for ten years.
Today, my colleague Caroline Russell AM proposed bringing these fines in line with those for non-payment of the congestion charge which have been £160 (or £80 if paid within 14 days) since 2018.
This is part of our Green AMs GLA budget amendment, and the proposal could raise £20m over the next two years, money that could be invested in measures to make it nicer and safer to walk in outer London.
While London is one of the world’s most walkable cities, it still has huge unmet potential. In outer London 1.5 million trips are made each day in vehicles, which could be made on foot and traffic danger is repeatedly raised as a deterrent to walking.
The full programme proposed 40 new zebra crossings, 25 light-controlled pedestrian crossings, five major junctions with safe crossings at every road and ten pavement widening schemes. These would be funded by a new revenue stream from a discrepancy which was uncovered by Caroline.
“Fines for illegally parking in a bus lane or a red route or for breaking loading restrictions have not been increased since 2011. This is effectively a ten year ‘fines freeze’ for thoughtless driving in London.
“Let’s stop that freeze and use those fines to invest in making our roads safer and more accessible. Some streets lack basic things like a dropped kerb which creates barriers for people pushing buggies, walking with a stick or white cane or using a mobility scooter. Even a small investment in these changes can make a huge difference to Londoners.
“I believe it is fair that penalty charges for driving, parking and loading breaches are made consistent, and that these fines should go towards measures that help meet the Mayor’s Vision Zero target for London.
“Our Green Group budget amendment is practical, properly financed and well planned. It mixes small scale interventions from existing reserves with larger investment plans for which we’ve found new income streams.”
The amendment kept both the needs of those most affected by the pandemic and the need for financial responsibility at the forefront.
Caroline, alongside her Green Party Assembly colleague Sian Berry, proposed new income streams as well as ways of utilising existing reserves.
These measures would mean these vital projects could go ahead without removing any money from the Mayor’s recovery mission.
Other budget proposals included £250,000 for in-depth engagement with Londoners on the details of any future road pricing scheme. This would properly involve people in discussing the likely benefits and impacts of a scheme to inform more detailed proposals.
We also put forward plans for a much-needed update of the city’s zero carbon pathway tool, which is currently based on a target for 2050 . A £50,000 update of this tool would provide figures to guide the city to carbon neutral by 2030.
Given the financial risks to London from climate change, it is urgent and money well spent to use reserves to get this work done now.