Driving in London can become a costly exercise if you’re not prepared. Before heading out to drive it’s important to study the road rules – the most common types of PCN notices in particular, as more than a million of them were handed out in 2018 alone.
At Splend, we’ve helped thousands of on-demand drivers earn an income by driving our PCO cars with platforms such as Uber. During this time we’ve gathered and studied a lot of data, and also asked our top drivers what are the PCN hotspots to avoid.
When and where is it most likely to get a PCN?
We’ve monitored our PCO fleet to determine what days of the week carry the most risk and which are the busiest hours when it’s most likely to get a PCN.
Our data showed that our drivers received the highest number of PCNs during the day, from 6 am to 9 am and from 3 pm to 6 pm – in other words, the peak hours on the road with many bus lane and school zone restrictions, etc..
The graph below shows a simplified risk matrix showing the two time periods with the most PCNs in our fleet.
There are over 600,000 CCTV cameras located around London capturing drivers breaking the road rules and issuing PCN notices.
Using data from our telematics devices, we created a heatmap of where our drivers get the most PCN notices in the Greater London Area. Spoiler alert: central London and the Congestion Charge zone are particularly active.
Below is a list of the boroughs known for the high number of PCN notices issued every year:
- Kingston upon Thames
10+1 top London PCN hotspots to watch out for
1. Bus lane PCN @ Clapham Park Road in Lambeth SW4 7LA
Whether you’re working as an on-demand driver in the south of London or not, you need to be aware of this PCN hotspot.
As you can see from the Google Street View images below, there’s a solid bus lane line in place that isn’t broken before the intersection, meaning only buses, taxis and bicycles can use this lane to turn left.
You can still turn left at the intersection, though. Simply stay in the lane adjacent to the bus lane and follow the arrows.
The City of Lambeth is notorious for handing out bus lane PCN notices, so be extra careful when driving in this borough.
2. Prohibited vehicles @ Lansdowne Dr in Hackney E8 4NA
Located in the busy area of Hackney near London fields is Lansdown Dr., a street that limits both cars and motorcycles at certain times of the day, allowing for only local buses.
Cars and motorcycles are limited during these hours Monday to Saturday:
- 7 am to 10 am
- 3 pm to 7 pm
This area is closely monitored so make sure you follow the road rules or avoid the street altogether.
3. Limited traffic Monday to Friday @ Bank Junction
Bank junction is a notorious intersection connected by six different roads. To ease congestion in this intersection, only buses are allowed through between 7 am to 7 pm Monday to Friday.
If you’re driving through the CBD, remember to avoid this intersection.
4. Parking @ The West End
London’s West End is known for its unparalleled entertainment, boasting the best of the best stage shows and productions. However, it also boasts the reputation for handing out the most parking PCNs in all of London, with parking inspectors taking as little as 10 mins to hand out a PCN.
The West End, pictured below, coves popular areas such as Convent Gardens, Chinatown and Soho.
If you decide to pull over in The West End, don’t forget to pay for your parking as soon as you get out of the car.
5. Dartford crossing charge (aka Dart Charge) PCN @DA2 6SB
You must pay £2.50 for a one-off payment, or £2.00 if you have an account every time you use the Dartford Crossing between 6 am and 10 pm.
Motorcycles are free and busses pay a slightly higher fee than cars.
If you drive in this area often, set up a Dart charge account to save 50p every time you cross. If you live in the area, you can also benefit from some local discounts.
6. Newport Avenue @ Tower Hamlets E14 2ED
A bus-only street located right outside the East India DLR stop is a hot spot for PCNs. From Newport Avenue cars can only turn right.
7. Browning Road bridge @ Newham E12
The Browning Road bridge has been temporarily closed to vehicles other than buses, taxis, motorcycles, and bicycles. This change has led to a large number of PCN notices.
8. Charlton Road @ Harrow HA3 9HP
On the popular Charlton Road, there’s a maximum vehicle width allowed through. Drivers need to stick left, rather than using the middle lane.
9. Riversdale Road @ Islington N16 9DJ
Much like the Harrow example above, Riversdale Road in Islington has a gate limiting the width of the cars that can enter. Drivers must stay in the left-hand lane and leave the middle lane free.
10. One-way road @ City of London E1 7DJ
This confusing two-lane one-way street has a designated camera ready to fine drivers who enter. Luckily it’s clearly marked, so you should be fine if you keep your eyes on the road.
+1. Ultra low emission streets @ Hackney
There are two adjacent zones in the City Fringe that are restricted to walking, cycling and low emissions cars during peak hours (Monday to Friday, 7 am to 10 am and 4pm to 7 pm). These are called ultra low emissions streetsor ULEV Streets, and the restrictions are enforced by the Hackney Council.
Be careful not to confuse them with the ULEZ or Ultra Low Emission Zone, which is also aimed at improving air quality, but it covers most of Central London, and more importantly, it’s enforced by TfL. Read more about TfL’s driving restrictions in Central London
Your car meets the ULEV standard if it emits less than 75 grams of CO2 per km and it’s capable of a zero-emission range of at least 10 miles. This includes fully electric cars and plug-in hybrids. Check out our ultimate car guide for Uber drivers to learn more.
We enable drivers to make money by driving. Our vision is a future where every on-demand driver can be successful.
We are PCO car hire specialists. We can help you get started as an on-demand driver, and set you up with a brand-new or new-model car on a Rent or Rent to buy plan. We also provide the training and support you need to become a more profitable, safer, fulfilled driver.