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The real truth about parking fines in London

06/05/2020 | Paolo Parodi


This is the kind topic that makes me feel upset  and thoughtful. 

I am a motorcycle rider since the last 5 years, specifically in London. 

Of course, if you grew up in a small Italian town and then you move to London, the way you manage your life changes a bit and so.. the roads' traffic.  I began, in my all naivety to riding my motorcycle in the bus lane, right in along the Imperial War Museum in Kennington Road London, SE11 6SF and getting fined ( How many?)

That bus lane spot worths million pounds a year for the Lambeth Council Parking .

Kennington Road Lambeth London Cash Cow Bus Lane

Ok, ok, It was my fault, I must not ride inside there because that is for buses, bicycles and taxies only...we whole know the story, don't we?!  

That was my first year riding the motorcycle in London and I believe I paid the Lambeth Council Parking a substantial amount in fines!

The time went on and fine after fine I became more disciplined in driving even though, from time to time I was still getting sanctioned for parking and riding on the bus lane.  For more than two years, I worked for a big courier company, and when once I got fined parking on a single yellow line by the Westminster Council Parking I got really upset (It was difficult to find the customer's house to deliver the parcel and so It took me 10 minutes to come back  to my vehicle).

I did a £4,50 delivery and I got fined £65.00 for parking 10 minutes on the yellow line, No No No.  That fine trigger in me the feeling to dispute it and so I did.

So, I replied to the Westminster Council Parking letter received home (within 14 days), disputing the fine.  Two weeks later I received their reply from the Westminster Council Parking, of course refusing to take in account my reasons...and giving me another 14 days to pay the fine (nice of them!).  I kept on writing letters refusing to pay and It began to increasing to £130 - £190. 

We exchanged communication with Westminster Council Parking for two-three months until I received the letter from the London Tribunals | Environment Traffic Adjudicators setting up the date for the hearing.

The day came and so I went to hearing at the London Tribunals | Environment Traffic Adjudicators. I believe the judges at London Tribunals | Environment Traffic Adjudicators are quite cool and reasonable people and if you give them a sustainable reason, they come towards you and will cancel the penalty;  and to be frank, every time I ended up in those places, for a 70% of the time, I won the case! But wait... wait to know more...

London Tribunal

After winning my first disputed penalty, I carried on doing my deliveries with my motorbike and sometime I was sent far away, outside London. 

On One evening, I was coming down from Watford, It was January and bitterly cold!  Once reached  London Edgware Road, I decided to put the left indicator, on the emergency indicators, and quickly turn off my engine at the edge of the road because my shoe lace was trapped inside my motorcycle. I stationed behind another car parked on the red line and  I spent 3 or 4 minutes sitting on the motorbike reorganising myself and...guess what... I got fined, again!

The camera watched me, I believe details of me through my number plate appeared on their screen and without any hesitation they fined me (because they were in arrears about the previous fine won at the court)

What to do? Going through the same ordeal in exchanging letters....may be not this time...and I payed £65.00.  But wait a second... few weeks ago' I won a dispute  with the same council...."ahh just leave it Paolo" It is, (of course) just a coincidence...

Cutting the story short now, I realised that every disputed fine, in a way or another they were trying to get their "missing revenue" from the previous fine I didn't pay.   Because, when I go to the London Tribunals, if I lose the case I will pay £130.00, but who is going to pay for the system in place?  Of course the Council - Government (sorry taxpayer), and that is a big loss!

Here It comes:  The last time I got fined by the Lambeth Parking Council was because I rode my motorbike for 2 metres on the bus lane because of too much traffic on Lambeth road SE1 London.  I disputed it and won it again at the hearing but a month later I received another penalty charge notice because due to the slow traffic I unluckily stopped my motorcycles inside the box junction behind a long queue of cars, in the same Lambeth Parking Council. (Park Plaza Hotel roundabout in Westminster, London)

 Of course I disputed it right away sending the Lambeth Parking Council the below letter:


Paolo                                                                                  15-06-2019 

Lambeth Parking

PCN: LJ....

VRN:  L.......

Watching the video, my motorcycle was not entirely stopping inside the box junction; besides I found myself in that circumstance because of the slow traffic in front of me.

It has been very unfortunate slowing down my riding in that “spot” but I could not do otherwise because of the slow traffic and cars horning behind me.

 Was he fined the taxi driver in front of me (number plate missing) stopping entirely inside the junction box for the same fraction of seconds as me.

 In my personal opinion (and It is not the first time this happened!) I believe this penalty is the result of your missing revenue from the previous one I won in court and not paid to you....so basically you are missing £65.00.

 Besides, I could not even submit this representation online because of this saying “You must look up and confirm your address”..anyway!


Guess what?  The next letter received the Lambeth Council Parking was cancelling the PCN.

In the end I was completely right!  They were missing revenue from the previous fine.

I always believed we need to live with respect and following all the rules for a good living within the society but sometimes I got the impression that the system take advantage of our good will.

I tell you more: I remember winning another parking dispute for the city of London EC2 parking fine ( I was delivering again) and what's happened when 2 months ago or so.. I got fined in the same borough, London EC2?  I disputed it again in the first 14 days period, but I received their answer two months later ( I initially thought they cancelled it). 

What did they do: they doubled it to £130.00 even though I disputed in the first 14 days ( they said It has doubled because the period has passed by) BUT THAT IS THEIR PROBLEM NOT MINE!  I sent the letter within 14 days first received the penalty charge notice and by the printing on the PCN letter the fine should not increase....but they did because... they were missing revenue for the previous PCN won in the tribunal, and my vehicle number plate gives them all the information they need!

Last fine: parking in Kensington and Chelsea borough.  I never had a contravention in that borough and after disputing it and losing it, their next letter received, they gave me another 14 days to settle the £65.00 as for the PCN writing.  Do you see the difference between the Kensington and Chelsea  and The City of London boroughs?

Any of your comment is really appreciated and if you need advice with your fines email: paolo@fashionsilver.co.uk.  

This post is not meant to be a promotional article, hence, you do not see any link to my shop's inventory.  I just want you to be aware that despite the fact we need to follow the correct way of living in the society with respect for the others and discipline, I sometimes believe that system takes advantage of us in order to make money! 

Ciao and thank you for reading.

Paolo Parodi

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