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61% of London drivers fined, clamped or towed due to parking sign confusion

The firm’s survey found that 63% of drivers in the Capital say they find the parking signs confusing, while 48% say they avoid parking in the city centre for this very reason. When asked about confusing signs they had encountered, 45% had seen signs they felt did not clearly indicate which area they related to and 47% had seen streets that had multiple parking restrictions in operation.

Meanwhile, elsewhere in the country over a fifth (22%) of drivers has been fined or had their vehicle clamped or towed in the past two years because they were unable to understand the parking restrictions in that area.  The cost of such penalties varies significantly, but can range from £60 for a parking fine to thousands of pounds to recover an impounded vehicle.

In addition to costing drivers significant sums of money, the research also suggests that confusing parking restrictions may be deterring people from visiting their local town or city centre, with a third (33%) of those questioned admitting they avoid parking in their local town or city centre for this very reason. Almost one in 10 (nine%) drivers avoids street parking in their own residential area because the parking restrictions are too confusing. 

Almost half (48%) of all motorists in the capital admit they avoid parking in the city centre – significantly more than any other region in the UK. The North West (35%) and East of England (34%) complete the top three.

Steve Barrett, head of Churchill Car Insurance, said: ‘It’s the driver’s responsibility to check which parking restrictions are in operation in a particular area.  However, when there are multiple restrictions in operation on a single street, it can result in motorists being confused and unintentionally parking illegally, incurring fines that could have been avoided.

‘The best advice is to be as vigilant for signs as possible and never assume if you’re unsure. If drivers are still unsure, they should avoid parking in the area and report the sign to the local council.  If you do receive a ticket or penalty you think is unfair, take photographs of where your car is parked and of the parking signs in the vicinity to help build your case for appeal.’

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for nearly 20 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day.