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Up to 350,000 Penalty Charge notices issued in London in suspended bays may be unlawful. These fines have a face value approaching £40m

Worse still many councils in London continued to issue fines in suspended bays in full knowledge that the signage was unlawful and 16 boroughs in the capital are still issuing fines in suspended bays without authorization including Westminster City Council.


Councils in London can suspend many thousands of bays over the course of a year so the fines are a big money-spinner.

In January 2010 an adjudicator ruled against Camden council on the basis that the sign was not compliant and so the contravention could not have occurred. As there are no set designs for parking suspension signs The Department for Transport (DfT) must approve the template before it is used on the public highway. So each council must get its own design approved.

It has been reported that the following councils still have no DfT authorisation for their signs: Greenwich, Southwark, Westminster, Barnet, Bexley, Bromley, Croydon, Ealing, Enfield, Hillingdon, Kingston-upon-Thames, Merton, Redbridge, Sutton and Waltham Forest.

The following councils received authorisation in 2010 or after: Camden, Hackney, Lambeth, Harrow, Wandsworth, Havering, Barking and Dagenham, Brent, Newham, Hounslow, Lewisham and Haringey.

In January 2010 an adjudicator ruled that

“In the absence of a compliant sign the vehicle was not in contravention and the appeal must be allowed.

“No doubt the council will give consideration to obtaining the secretary of state’s authorisation.”