THE number of parking tickets issued to motorists in residential areas of Fareham has more than quadrupled in a year.
Last year traffic wardens dished out just 306 fines.
But this year they have already handed out 1,323 tickets to drivers in residents-only parking areas – potentially netting Fareham Borough Council up to £92,610.
The rise is the result of adding 20 new streets to the town centre residential parking scheme in September last year.
Before that it had only been used in the town’s Kings Street area.
The council says it is simply enforcing the rules to help local residents park outside their homes.
But some motorists say they are an easy target.
Max Chiplu, who was visiting Fareham from Lee-on-the-Solent yesterday, said: ‘It could be a bit short-sighted of the council. If it discourages people from coming in then it’s not going to be good for the businesses.’
The parking scheme – in which residents can buy two permits per household at £40 each – was introduced to stop commuters and shoppers clogging up residential streets.
Marian Davies, of Southampton Road, one of the roads affected, said it had been a big success.
‘It’s been fabulous since the permits were introduced,’ she said. ‘There’s signs up everywhere telling you about it and you still see people parking up – I don’t know what they think those signs are for.’
Neighbour Mick Williams added: ‘Before the permits were introduced you couldn’t blame people for taking advantage, but now there’s no excuse.’
Those caught parking in residents-only areas receive a £70 fine. This is reduced to £35 if paid in a fortnight.
Council leader Sean Woodward said: ‘This increase is clearly because we’ve introduced the residents’ parking scheme.
‘These numbers show the council is taking the problem seriously. Our residents are paying for their permits so they expect to see it enforced.’
The number of drivers being caught on double yellow lines has fallen substantially from 2,006 last year to 1,410 so far this year.
Cllr Woodward said this was because ‘drivers were learning’.