Thursday, December 7, 2023

County Council Makes Millions in Parking Fines

The county council has made millions of pounds by fining thousands of residents for a raft of parking transgressions.

This includes hundreds of “fines”, or Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs), for “not parking correctly,” parking on pedestrian crossings, in taxi ranks and restricted school areas.

In the past five years, Derbyshire County Council has raised more than £2.7 million through nearly 83,000 PCNs.
This works out as an average of £33.60 for every penalty it has issued since 2014.

The county council’s civil enforcement officers (traffic wardens) do not have the power to stop vehicles – moving traffic offences remain a police matter.

Council officers are responsible for enforcing:

  • limited waiting bays
  • double and single yellow lines
  • on-street pay and display bays
  • residents’ parking zones
  • Blue Badge bays
  • loading bays
  • bus stops
  • taxi bays
  • school keep clears
  • clearways
  • car parks (with orders)

Meanwhile, the police are responsible for enforcing double white lines, obstruction of pavements, dangerous parking (bends in road or brows of hills), one-way routes, access-only roads, box junctions and white-hatched areas.

Both the police and the county council oversee dropped kerbs, double parking and pedestrian crossings.

A spokesperson for Derbyshire County Council said: “Our parking enforcement officers are responsible for making sure motorists follow parking restrictions.
“They patrol roads across the county wherever restrictions are in place – including in rural areas.“The money is used to pay for the cost of running the service.
“If it makes more money than it costs to run, any leftover funds are ring fenced by law for highways use, including improvements to roads
“We would always ask people to park safely and responsibly.”

The number of fines the council has handed out has increased every year for the past five years – with 17,259 fines handed out during 2018 – 5,000 more than in 2014.

Nearly 400 people have been fined for “not parking correctly” in the past five years.

Last year, 88 fines were handed out for breaching this rule – this is five times more than there were in 2014 – 16.

Not parking correctly includes vehicles which are not parked wholly within road markings or a space.

At least one wheel must be outside of the parking space for a fine to be issued.

Since 2014, more than 700 motorists have been fined for parking on pedestrian crossings; 475 fines have been handed out for parking in a taxi rank and 211 fines have been issued for parking in a restricted school area (usually marked with keep clear).

The number of people fined for parking in a pedestrian crossing per year has more than doubled since 2014 to 180; while the number of fines for people parking in restricted school areas is now nearly four times as high as it was in 2014 – 88.

Eddie Bisknell (LDRS)

Eddie writes for Nailed through the Local Democracy Reporting Service, in partnership with the BBC. The Local Democracy Reporting Service is a partnership of media outlets sharing reporters to cover council meetings.

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