More than 30,000 parking tickets issued

MORE than 31,000 parking tickets have been slapped on motorists' windscreens in less than two years in a hard-line approach to illegal parking, it emerged today.

MORE than 31,000 parking tickets have been slapped on motorists' windscreens in less than two years in a hard-line approach to illegal parking, it emerged today.

Between October 2005, when Ipswich Borough Council took control of policing parking in the town, and the end of June there were 31,189 tickets dished out by wardens who work random shift patterns, including overnight and at weekends, in a bid to clamp-down on parking pests.

The policy netted the council nearly £1.3million in fines during the period and the cash has so far gone towards the cost of implementing the new parking system.

The council's leader, Liz Harsant, said the figures, obtained after a request under the Freedom of Information Act from The Evening Star, showed the council was serious about tackling the problem and added that she hoped to see even more enforcement in the future.

Mrs Harsant said: “I wish we could put more resources in the patrols to deal with the quite obvious breaking of the law.

“People actually use the parking bays as their private car park. People just don't care but they care when they get a parking ticket.

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“It is one of my priorities. I don't think tackling it pleased everyone but it pleased residents.

“I think we've got to take a tough line.”

Mrs Harsant, who admitted having received a parking ticket herself, which she paid willingly, said the problem of parkers flouting the law was particularly prevalent away from the centre of town and added: “People park on double yellow lines because they think the enforcement people won't come up there.”

Each penalty notice charge costs £30 if paid within 14 days and £60 afterwards, unless the motorist successfully appeals the ticket, which means the council has raised £1,293,375 from fines, with £186,060 still outstanding as around 7,000 of the parking fines given out had yet to be paid.

However councillor Paul West, transport portfolio holder at the borough council, said the council had yet to make a surplus as the money collected since October 2005 was going towards the costs of implementing the new policing system.

He said once there was a surplus the cash would be re-injected into transport policies which could include parking.

n. Do you think more should be done to tackle illegal parking? Do you think parking fines are unfair?

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