BY RICHARD CORNWELL
Thursday, February 7, 2013
DRIVERS are more likely to get caught and fined for failing to buy a ticket in Felixstowe’s town centre car parks than those on the seafront, according to new figures.
More fines are issued in Crescent and Highfield Road car parks than the other 12 in the town, suggesting they are patrolled more frequently.
But fewer drivers are being caught, which could be because they are being more careful or due to the introduction of free half-hour parking places.
The figures – released by Suffolk Coastal council after a Freedom of Information request – show more than 800 fines have been issued to drivers in the Crescent pay-and-display car park in the past three years and more than 700 at Highfield Road, but the numbers are steadily falling.
Other car parks where tickets are frequently issued include Clifflands, Pier Bight and Ranelagh Road.
Income from excess charge notices in Felixstowe was £48,211 in 2010/11, £44,230 last year and £39,520 in the current financial year, due to end on March 31. Across the district the number of tickets issued was down 1,200 last year and fines fell by £26,000.
Income from the district’s car parks generated £1.4million in 2011/12, of which £474,000 came from Felixstowe – this year income is expected to be £1.7m with £529,000 from the seaside town following the first rise in ticket prices in six years.
“The income earned from car parks is important to help the council not just pay for the management of those facilities, but has also been vital in funding the improved three-bin recycling and refuse collection service that has been rolled out to every home in our district and which has helped this district become one of the top ten recyclers in the country,” said a council spokesman.
“Charging a reasonable but fair price means that our many visitors from outside the district, whether they are using a car park in Felixstowe, or Woodbridge, or Aldeburgh, are helping to pay for the council’s services, such as its free network of modern public toilets, or its street cleaning teams.”