Parking fines break £1million barrier
MORE than £1 million in parking fines have been handed out to errant motorists in Ipswich in just over a year.However, it emerged today that despite almost 18,000 tickets taped to drivers' windscreens more than one in four remain unpaid.
MORE than £1 million in parking fines have been handed out to errant motorists in Ipswich in just over a year.
However, it emerged today that despite almost 18,000 tickets taped to drivers' windscreens more than one in four remain unpaid.
Figures obtained from Ipswich Borough Council by The Evening Star under the Freedom of Information Act show 17,863 £60 penalty notices were issued between October 2005 and October 2006. Although the fine is reduced to £30 if the culprits pay up within 14 days, the total ticket revenue comes to £1,071,780.
But with thousands of fine dodgers seemingly ignoring their penalties, it means the amount still awaiting payment at the end of October stood at more than £314,000.
Richard Walker, parking services manager, refuted any claims the service is purely a money-making scheme.
He argues the figure of more than £1 million in fines being handed out is misleading because the majority of motorists pay within 14 days.
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In addition to this up to five per cent of tickets are rescinded on appeal for reasons that are not clear to parking attendants when a ticket is issued.
Mr Walker estimates that the total revenue for the service will come anywhere between £330,000 and £500,000 for the first year with the cost of employing the team of 15 parking attendants and setting up and running the service costing approximately £420,000 a year.
He said: “The aim of the service is to keep traffic moving safely in Ipswich and keep roads clear - not to make money.
“We don't have any targets for issuing penalty notices and any profit goes into a pot for use on transport projects such as bus stop improvements or highway verge schemes in the Ipswich area.”
Mr Walker said the amount of money raised from parking fines and the percentage of people paying those fines was comparable to figures from similar-sized towns such as Norwich, Cambridge, Colchester and Southend.
The figures for Ipswich reveal the highest monthly parking ticket totals were in February and March this year with 1,545 and 1,660 issued respectively.
The highest percentage of fines recouped also came in February when 75.8 per cent of tickets were paid. The next best month was July when 75.3pc were recouped.
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