December 8 2013 Latest news:
Thursday, October 3, 2013
The number of parking fines handed out by St Edmundsbury Borough Council in its car parks has fallen, according to new figures.
Last year the authority gave out 2,486 Excess Charge Notices (ECNs) in its off-street car parks which was a drop of 20% on the previous year.
Freedom of Information (FOI) data obtained by insurance firm LV= revealed councils across the UK now hand out an average of 162 parking tickets a day, compared to 154 in 2012.
A St Edmundsbury Borough Council spokeswoman said: “The 2,486 ECNs issued in St Edmundsbury last year represent just 0.1% of our off-street car park transactions and are a 20% drop on the previous year, and a 37% drop on 2010.
“This dramatic reduction is a direct result of the customer service our car park attendants offer, actively managing traffic and looking after car park users.
“Fines are issued as a last resort, in most cases where it is apparent that no payment for the service has been made or attempted. It means that 99.9% of our customers understand and comply with the parking charges and so do not risk being fined.
“We give out a guide to parking fines and appeals with every fine, which gives clear guidance about why the fine was issued and what grounds are considered if appealing.
“This clear explanation has had a significant effect on the number of appeals being made with the number dropping by 58% in the last year.”
The FOI data showed Saturday was the day of the week to see the most fines in the borough’s off-street car parks last year.
Mark Cordell, chief executive of Bury St Edmunds town centre business improvement group Ourburystedmunds, formerly known as Bid4Bury, said the drop in the number of fines and small proportion of people receiving them demonstrated the council used ECNs only “when absolutely necessary”.
LV= said that, according to drivers who got parking tickets, the main reasons for doing so were staying too long, leaving their car somewhere they thought they would not need a ticket or forgetting to display a ticket.
A root and branch review of off-street car parking in St Edmundsbury was completed last year. It came about following an outcry to controversial ‘across the board’ car parking price increases.