MOTORISTS have been forced to pay more than £2million in parking fines in the last five years – prompting campaigners to warn drivers should not be treated “as cash cows”.

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But last night a senior councillor defended the figures, claiming unsafe parking needs to be penalised to protect people’s safety and make the town more attractive to help boost business.

The figures, revealed under Freedom of Information laws, show 71,858 on and off-street parking tickets were issued between 2007/8 and 2011/12, costing drivers £2,215,356.

Councillor Phil Smart, transport portfolio holder, said: “Parking fines help make the town more attractive, so unsafe and anti-social parking needs to be penalised.

“We are not getting rich through this. It helps fund council services and relieves pressure on council tax. Parking fine powers are not being abused.”

Traffic wardens handed out 13,196 tickets in 2011/12, generating £391,821 for council revenues – the lowest sum and ticket tally of the last five financial years.

The highest was in 2009/10, when 16,276 tickets were issued, raking in £511,275.

Under the 1984 Road Traffic Regulation Act, councils are not allowed to use parking as a fiscal measure to raise revenue, but have the powers to enforce parking restrictions to ease the flow of traffic, ensure the safety of drivers and pedestrians and preserve or improve the area.

But Matthew Sinclair, chief executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, warned motorists should not be viewed as “cash cows”.

He said: “For many councils parking fines have become a lucrative source of income.

“But while revenues are being made at the cost of the motorist, taxpayers haven’t seen their council tax fall, or their local services improve.”

In October, the Star revealed the council was owed £123,955.50 in unpaid parking fines in 2012 – a huge rise from £1,849.99 in 2008.

In October 2005 parking enforcement was decriminalised, giving Ipswich Borough Council the power to enforce restrictions within the borough.

An Ipswich Borough Council spokesman said: “People are given penalty notices when they park illegally. If they park properly and legally they will not face a charge.”

10 comments

  • If the council wants to make even more money, how about fining all the 4 x 4 vehicles that park to not only double yellow lines, but on predestrain crossing zig zag lines outside almost every school in the town, to save "little Johnny" the starin of walking a few hundred extra yards to where they could park the cars legally. If people park on pedestrian crossings, then they should expect to incur a fine!

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    england1770

    Friday, March 1, 2013

  • None of them was "forced" to pay the fine. All they had to do was not park like idiots and they wouldn't have become liable for a fine. Frankly, the appalling parking of Ipswich motorists all over the town should be resulting in far more fines than this. When did the Highway Code change from saying "you should not drive on the pavement" to "you're not properly parked if pedestrians can get past you"?

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    beerlover

    Thursday, February 28, 2013

  • NOT FOR POSTING! Thanks Ed for posting my comments. It seems I am not a pariah after all ;)

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    Steve Blake

    Thursday, February 28, 2013

  • Agreed. If IBC were using drivers as a cash cow they'd have a warden outside Duke Street Tesco all the time to catch the people who always park on the double yellows, and in the loadinf only bay on Wykes Bishop, as well as all the people who park on the corner of DukeWykes Bishop and on the path nearly completely blocking it. You could easily issue something like 15 - 20 tickets an hour in late afternoonevening.

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    Chris Church

    Friday, March 1, 2013

  • Its more like a "Punishment" for going into Ipswich , why go there and have a worse experience than any of the surrounding towns . Stupid people , Go to Woodbridge Felixstowe Bury St Edmunds no fines and nice people to mix with in the nice shops .

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    Poppys Dad

    Thursday, February 28, 2013

  • "I stopped on a single yellow line to drop my wife off", sorry but that shows perfectly how easy it is for the council to make money out of people who seem to think laws dont apply to them! If people don't want to pay fines don't park illegally, it really puzzles me why thats so hard to understand?

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    MZH

    Friday, March 1, 2013

  • Talking of appalling parking have a look at the junction of Elm Street and Curriers Lane on Google Street View. Two Serco vans ( a private company) parked illegally on double yellows. Only emergency vehicles attending a scene all lawfully allowed to park on double yellows. There's never a warden about when you need one!

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    Steve Blake

    Thursday, February 28, 2013

  • If the motorists think they are becoming ‘cash cows’ the solution is very simple STOP PARKING ILLEGALLY

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    A Smith

    Thursday, February 28, 2013

  • And they still want to put up council tax!!!

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    this is what we pay tax for

    Thursday, February 28, 2013

  • I stopped on a single yellow line to drop my wife off at a shop. I was approached before I could move off by a female traffic warden who spoke to me as if I was a piece of dirt and told to move on. And get this she was in a van and illegally parked. Come on Council keep killing Ipswich off.

    Report this comment

    m01

    Thursday, February 28, 2013

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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