The London boroughs that dish out the most parking fines

It’s no secret that London councils are seriously strapped for cash right now, and having to make tough decisions about whether they can continue run everything from libraries to youth clubs to flower displays. But they do have one reliable revenue stream. As long as there are motorists there will be parking fines, doled out to anyone who doesn’t study the Pay and Display rules like they’re the face of their soon-to-be-deceased lover. 

Insurance company Churchill has submitted a raft of Freedom of Information requests that reveal exactly how much each London council rakes in from these unpopular fines.

Islington Council wins the unlikely honour of being the council with the most zealous traffic wardens. In 2022, the council made £44,799 from a whopping 1,012 parking notices. That’s not over the course of a year, mind you, a month or even a week. That’s the daily average, meaning that parking fines generate a whopping £14.4m a year for its coffers. It’s even more ironic, then, that Islington also has the dubious honour of having the most potholes of any borough in the capital. So Lord knows what they spend 14 million quid a year on. Not the roads, evidently.

Lambeth Council’s traffic wardens are only slightly less prolific. They handed out 999 parking notices a day, but they did give bigger fines, making their daily income London’s highest at £48,424. 

Here’s the full list of average daily parking fines handed out by each council, so that you can carefully plan where not to leave your car in London.

1. Islington – 1,012 fines, £44,799 revenue

2. Lambeth  999 fines, £48,424 revenue

3. Waltham Forest – 874 fines, £41,215 revenue

4. Westminster – 843 fines, £42,099 revenue

5. Newham  720 fines, £34,206 revenue

6. Kingston upon Thames  606 fines, £32,818 revenue

7. Kensington & Chelsea  545 fines, £27,776 revenue

8. Hammersmith & Fulham  540 fines, £27,837 revenue

9. Barnet – 507 fines, £24,548 revenue

10. Tower Hamlets  504 fines, £24,395 revenue

So now you know. If you want to park your car somewhere you shouldn’t, don’t for the love of God do it in any of these boroughs, or you’ll risk making a traffic warden and a council accountant very happy, and your wallet very sad. 

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