Life on UK's worst road for parking tickets – where fines totalled £2m

‘The traffic wardens sit in their cars until 8.31am… then they pounce’: Life on UK’s worst road for parking tickets where drivers were hit with 32,000 fines totalling £2.26m over two years

  • Business owners resorted to shouting ‘warden warnings’ to help save customers 
  • Parking wardens are raking in millions from Britain’s most-fined streets
  • One business owner said the regular traffic warden sits in an illegal parking spot
  • Another said he sees groups of them sitting in cars and starting work at 8.31am 

Business owners on some of London’s most fined streets claim parking rangers sit in their cars and wait until 8.31am to issue tickets – and some have resorted to shouting ‘warden warnings’ to help save customers.

Mare Street in Hackney has earned the unfortunate title of Britain’s worst street for parking after drivers were hit with a staggering 32,347 fines over a two-year period to July 2022 – amounting to 44 tickets every day, totalling £2.26million.

The busy main road runs through the centre of Hackney and is lined with an assortment of shops, pubs, nail salons and houses. 

But there’s very little parking available on the bustling street due to lengthy double yellow lines in addition to a bus lane.  

This warden arrived on Clapham Park Road on Wednesday afternoon, which is the second most fined street in London

Pictured: A car with a ticket on Wednesday afternoon on Clapham Park Road

Britain’s most-fined streets are bringing in excess of a whopping £10 million worth of fines each year for money-hungry councils

Son Vo, 40, who works in a shop on Mare Street and lives locally, told MailOnline it’s proving increasingly difficult to send and receive stock due to the presence of wardens and strict parking restrictions.

‘Our drivers have to risk getting a ticket to get everything in the shop or have to park far away and we have to carry it over.’

He’s calling on councils to show some lenience to help businesses.

In addition to the parking shortage, Mr Vo said people are often also getting fined because ‘it is so easy to drive into a bus lane by accident’.

Sebban Oz (pictured), 49, is the owner of a shop on Mare Street and has noticed a rise in traffic wardens

Sebban Oz

Shop owner on Mare Street

Sebban Oz, who owns another shop along Mare Street, said he’s noticed a definitive spike in the amount of wardens roaming the streets in the last six months.

‘It makes it miserable to drive and park around here. You can’t really park without risking a ticket,’ he said. 

‘The council do it to make money which is sad because people need help and they’re not helping.

‘Hackney council just want to take our money.’

Calum, 29

Calum (left), 29, a charity shop manager from Tottenham, north London, said: ‘Our contractors do find it difficult as they can’t park on the roads here so have to go elsewhere

Charity shop manager on Mare Street 

Calum, 29, a charity shop manager from Tottenham, north London, said: ‘Our contractors do find it difficult as they can’t park on the roads here so have to go elsewhere.

‘And when people want to donate lots of stuff it can be hard because they bring many bags of stuff that they have to walk with to bring it to the shop as they can’t park outside without risking getting fined.’

Quintos van Rooyen, 34

Quintos Van Rooyen, pictured, a 34-year-old electrician from London, has noticed an increase in fines across the capital

Electrician  

And Quintos van Rooyen, a 34-year-old electrician from London, has noticed an increase in fines across the capital.

He said: ‘I have had more fines than ever since January last year. There is definitely an increased presence of wardens around London.

‘I was around Chelsea the other day and could only park for two hours so I moved after the two hours were over. I only moved about two streets away and I saw three parking wardens.’

One business owner said she often spied the traffic warden in question sitting in his car – which is also parked on double yellow lines – ready to catch anyone the moment they stop (pictured, the warden on Wednesday, parked on double lines)


Pictured: Cameras and signs along Mare Road in Hackney

The busy main road runs through the centre of Hackney and is lined with an assortment of shops, pubs, nail salons and houses

Mikel Sans, 59, a chef who lives off the busy main road, ended up selling his car out of frustration of the London roads.

Mr Sans said: ‘I had a car for a few years here, but sold it. It was too frustrating driving in London. There’s the traffic and then never anywhere to park.

‘I have got tickets before when I parked in places that I didn’t realise I couldn’t. 

‘Here now as well there are so many bus lanes. My mum the other day was driving around here and got confused by the lanes. I’m not sure though if she was fined.’ 

And grocery shop owner Barnu Karatay said she’d been fined twice in the past year. She sees one warden arrive on the street at 6am and said he’s normally on duty until about 6pm. 

Residents and business owners have complained about lack of parking in the highly targeted areas

In Stoke, where 4,456 motorists were fined on Quadrant Road, one business owner told MailOnline she goes out of her way to help customers avoid tickets. 

Speaking anonymously, she said: ‘I sometimes shout ”if anyone’s driving, there’s a traffic warden” – and it’s the quickest way to clear the shop.’

‘My customers are used to it by now, it’s sort of the case where they have to just run in and out… As soon as someone pulls in they’re on you straight away.’

The business owner said she often spied the traffic warden in question sitting in his car – which is also parked on double yellow lines – ready to catch anyone the moment they stop.

‘They sit in the car and they just press the button or something. The funny thing is, he parks on double yellows to get them.

‘He’s here most days, it’s the same man. He’s got no patience with anyone… He must make the council a lot of money.’ 

She said it’s ‘not good business wise’ as customers are forced to either quickly dash in or park a long distance away.

In Stoke, where 4,456 were fined on Quadrant Road, one business owner told MailOnline she goes out of her way to help customers avoid tickets

Clapham Park Road in Lambeth raked in £2.03million for London authority Lambeth Council, with 29,079 fines, while Millennium Way in Greenwich was ranked third with 28,762 fines totalling £2.01million.

Balaj Butt, 42, is the owner of Monarch Dry Cleaning and Laundrette, which sits on Clapham Park Road. He watches as the wardens wait in their cars for the workday to start.

He said: ‘I have seen the wardens in their cars waiting and as soon as it is 8:31am in the morning they come out and go different ways and give out fines.

‘The guy who owned the business before us used to get tickets all the time so ended up getting the train because he couldn’t afford all the tickets he was getting. 

‘They can be so quick. I heard a man went into his house with his groceries and came back and there was a ticket.’ 

Again, Mr Butt reiterated how difficult it is for him as a business owner, knowing he’s got nowhere to park.

In Stoke, many customers shopping on Quadrant Road park on nearby Bryan Street

This parking sign in London instructs drivers they must not stay more than four hours

‘We do lose business because we can’t pick up and deliver because there is no affordable parking.

‘It would be great to be issued a space or some leeway so we can drop things off inside.’

Mr Butt said he pays upwards of £1,800 each year for a business permit, and noted if he were to receive a fine he’d have to complete 14 dry cleaning jobs to pay it off.

Usually, he said the warden in his area is friendly and will give him a five minute warning to move a car if it’s parked illegally near his store.

In each suburb, residents and employees also said they hadn’t noticed the rangers.

Matty, 32, from North London, who works in a bike shop along Mare Street, was surprised by the number of fines the road had stacked up, saying he’d never once noticed a warden on the street.

‘I think the parking situation is annoying for customers as they normally have to go to Lidl to park and have to buy something there… I cycle everywhere so it’s not something that affects me really.’

Many people in Clapham Park Road noted the confusing bus lane also led to many fines

Claire Fox, 23, a waitress and another Hackney resident, was also shocked by the number of fines issued on Mare Steet.

She said: ‘I haven’t been fined here or noticed traffic officers.

‘But there are businesses and shops all along so maybe people get caught out if they run into a shop quickly and a parking officer is close by.

‘From driving around London, parking is a nightmare everywhere.’

Warran, from Croydon, is employed in a local convenient store on Clapham Park Road.

The 27-year-old said: ‘I probably see parking wardens maybe once every three months, but I have never had a fine. I normally cycle to work as it is so difficult to park.’

He added: ‘It would be good to be able to park outside the shop. My boss has to unload the van, then close the shop to park the car far away and then come back.’

Clapham Park Road in Lambeth raked in £2.03million for London authority Lambeth Council, with 29,079 fines

In Stoke, 4,456 motorists were fined on Quadrant Road

For Gopal Aryal (pictured), the owner of Rajah Rowing, the bigger issue along the road is a confusing bus lane

Gopal Aryal

Owner of Rajah Rowing 

Alex Clark, 25, a fibre engineer, said he is more concerned about the confusing bus lanes on Mare Stree

For Gopal Aryal, the owner of Rajah Rowing, the bigger issue along the road is a confusing bus lane. 

The 54-year-old from Greenwich said: ‘I never really see wardens and I never park here.

‘What I have noticed is one complicated part of the road where I have been fined two or three times. Lots of people do the same and get fined for it as its confusing, especially if you don’t know the area.

‘You can’t appeal either so you have to pay.’

Alex Clark, 24

Fibre Engineer 

Alex Clark, 25, a fibre engineer, from Chingford, said the same thing on Friday.

‘I have been down this road a lot and never seen any traffic wardens and I don’t notice people park on the road for them to ticket.

‘But the bus lanes here can be confusing, so I can imagine people getting caught out with them.’

Britain’s most-fined streets are bringing in excess of a whopping £10 million worth of fines each year for money-hungry councils. Pictured: Signage at a private car park

Motorists across the UK were not spared either, with Lisburn Road in Belfast and George Street in Edinburgh also targeted in the ticketing blitz.

Lisburn Road racked up 2,508 parking fines in the reporting window, while Madeira Drive in Brighton & Hove was hit with 3,402.

The data was compiled by AppyParking+, whose CEO Dan Hubert said: ‘Parking has become an increasingly stressful and complicated process for drivers – not knowing where is best for them to park, how long they can stay for, and also being charged significant fees for the privilege to park.

‘This has become a significant problem for drivers in London, with certain areas racking up millions of pounds in fines each year, all at the expense of residents and visitors to the capital.

‘We are all looking for ways to save vital pennies amid the ongoing cost of living crisis, and parking is one area where millions are getting wasted due to a lack of clarity and understanding of restrictions.

‘It is also an issue of wasting time and fuel whilst searching for somewhere they know they can legally park – meaning more emissions and more pollution of our streets all because we don’t know where is right to park.’

Just last week, an entire row of motorists in Watford were hit with penalty notices on Boxing Day after mistakenly thinking they could park on a street for free due to the bank holiday. 

A traffic warden slapped 12 cars with parking tickets after drivers mistakenly thought they could park on the street for free on Boxing Day

In another incident which sparked outrage, a mother was fined within two minutes of parking her Motability van as she waited to pick her disabled daughter up from school. 

Data also reveals the 10 police forces which have handed out the most speeding tickets in 2022. 

West Yorkshire topped the list with 224,160 speeding tickets, while Avon and Somerset (173,428 tickets), Thames Valley (151,501 tickets) and the West Midlands (95,093) also ranked highly. 

But the nation’s worst drivers overall, based on the number of driving licence points received, are located in Bradford. 

The majority of the tickets – 220,545 – were captured by the county’s 402 fixed speeding cameras. Only 3,615 tickets were actually given by officers.

MailOnline previously revealed that Bradford was home to a zebra crossing which might be the most dangerous in Britain.

Five die and 84 are seriously injured every day on UK roads, data by road safety charity Brake revealed.

Last year 1,608 people were killed on the roads in the UK and 26,701 were seriously injured.

Five people die every day on UK roads and 84 are seriously injured, data revealed. Last year 1,608 people were killed on the roads in the UK and 26,701 were seriously injured

Where am I most likely to get a speeding citation in the UK? 

Some 23 police constabularies provided Heald Ltd with speeding citation data under the Freedom of Information Act.

The constabularies are ranked from having issued the most to least citations last year, based on the reported data. 

West Yorkshire Police – 224,160

Avon and Somerset Constabulary – 173,428

Thames Valley Police – 151,501

West Midlands Police – 95,093

Surrey Police – 87,270

Bedfordshire Police – 69,818

South Yorkshire Police – 67,255

Hampshire Constabulary – 62,514

Lincolnshire Police – 59,525

Hertfordshire Constabulary – 53,627

Humberside Police – 51,914

Northumbria Police – 49,046

Dorset Police – 44,985

Cheshire Constabulary – 39,805

Cambridgeshire Constabulary – 35,781

Derbyshire Constabulary – 34,466

City of London Police – 22,626

Cleveland Police – 15,521

South Wales Police – 4,455

Sussex Police – 3,071

Wiltshire Police – 2,059

Merseyside Police – 2,035

Durham Constabulary – 693

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