Penalty Charge Notice increase

The Council’s Cabinet this week agreed to increase the Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) value following national guidance issued by Scottish Ministers on the revised levels that can be charged for parking contraventions. From 1 August 2023, the charge will rise from £60 to £100.

Motorists receive a PCN when they fail to comply with parking regulations, and most are issued in relation to parking restrictions that have been introduced to support road safety such as double yellow lines and school keep clear markings, accessibility (disabled parking bays), and local business activity (loading bays).

The Scottish Government undertook a public consultation which considered the levels of fines associated with PCNs and published the analysis of the responses in September 2022. All of the Scottish local authorities who responded to the consultation agreed that PCN levels should be increased.

The current £60 PCN value has not been increased since decriminalised parking enforcement (DPE) was introduced nationally in April 2001. East Ayrshire Council introduced DPE in 2012. If the PCN value been reviewed in line with inflation over the intervening years, the current value would be approximately £105.

The new guidance allows a local authority to set a new PCN value at a lower rate of £80, discounted by 50% if paid with 14 days or a higher rate of £100, discounted by 50% if paid within 14 days. These rates are increased by 50% if the PCN remains unpaid.

However, an £80 PCN value is lower than the adjusted 2001 value when inflation in the intervening period is accounted for. The Council believes that an increase in the cost of a PCN will support positive behaviour change and an improvement in parking compliance.

Of the other Scottish local authorities who have already increased their PCN rates, including Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee and Aberdeenshire, the higher rate increase has been the approved option. All of the other roads authorities which are in the process of presenting recommendations to their respective administrations are also seeking approval to adopt the higher rate increase.

Any PCN income is reinvested in parking services, public transport, and road or environmental improvements, particularly in relation to road safety and accessibility issues.

Councillor Neal Ingram, East Ayrshire Council Spokesperson for Community Safety, Roads and Transportation, said: “This is the first opportunity local authorities have had since the introduction of DPE powers 22 years ago to adjust PCN values and bring them more in line with inflationary adjustments. We hope that the higher charge will encourage positive behaviour change in support of parking regulations and also help with the Council’s carbon reduction aspirations as drivers adopt other modes of transport.”