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Regit investigates: Here’s why you should appeal EVERY council-issued traffic penalty you get

By Tom Gibson | December 20, 2023


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Alarming data shows numerous councils aren’t contesting large numbers of appeals due to lack of staff

Regit investigates: Here’s why you should appeal EVERY council-issued traffic penalty you get

A recent Regit investigation has shown large numbers of councils up and down the UK aren’t contesting large numbers of parking fines, bus lane penalties and other traffic violations, including those stung by Clean Air Zones.

Data from 2021/22 – the last period of full reporting – shows that just 843 motorists challenged fines issued by Birmingham City Council, despite 297,851 being issued.

Of those that did appeal, 553 weren’t contested and 121 were successful. Just 149 (18%) lost their appeal and had to pay the fine. If that success rate continued for the council then around 245,000 motorists wouldn’t have needed to cough up.

And Birmingham is far from an anomaly, 72% of motorists didn’t have to pay fines after they appealed in Brighton, whereas it was 71% in Sheffield, 73% in Manchester and a whopping 88% in Bath after the council didn’t even challenge 72% of appeals.

In total, there were 11,090,502 traffic fines issued to motorists in England and Wales in 2021/22 but just 26,338 (0.23%) appealed their penalties.

13,267 (51%) of those appeals weren’t contested and an additional 4,871 (19%) were successful in their appeal. 7,981 (30%) either reached an agreement or had their appeal refused.

You can see a full breakdown of data from English and Welsh authorities here.

If you’ve been fined and would like to appeal you shouldn’t pay the fine before appealing as that will likely be taken as an admission of guilt and you won’t be able to progress with the appeal.

For more advice, head to our Legal page. We’ve also got support here if you’ve been convicted of speeding but you know you weren’t breaking the limit.

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