Parking tickets worth more than £2m handed out

A parking warden checking tickets in Clarendon Road, Southsea
A parking warden checking tickets in Clarendon Road, Southsea
Picture: Carey Tompsett/PA Wire

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COUNCILS have handed out parking fines totalling more than £2m in just a year.

A Freedom of Information request has revealed Portsmouth City Council handed out 34,510 penalty charge notices to the value of £1.29m in 2013 – more than any other authority locally which released details.

Only eight other councils outside London issued fines worth more.

Councillor John Ferrett, Portsmouth’s Labour group leader, said the figure was high and could affect the city’s tourist economy.

‘I’m concerned about the impact this could have on the number of visitors coming to the city,’ he said.

‘Excessive fines could deter people from visiting and if that happens, they will visit other cities along the coast.

‘That’s not good when we have got a lot of problems along the seafront at the moment in terms of attracting people. We need to promote Portsmouth as a place to visit.’

Cllr Jason Fazackarley, the council’s cabinet member for traffic and transport, was unavailable for comment.

Meanwhile, Havant Borough Council dished out 7,4046 tickets raising £288,915 and Gosport wardens handed out 853 fines worth £47,135.

In areas covered by East Hampshire District Council, 3,055 tickets were issued costing £121,410.

The figures, compiled by Churchill Insurance, relate to the total value of parking fines issued by each council and not the amount of revenue they made.

This is because the information doesn’t take into account the number of fines that were overturned on appeal and how many ended up costing less because they were paid within a certain time frame. While Fareham Borough Council did not respond to Churchill, latest figures from an online parking report shows it issued 8,043 tickets to the value of £486,470 from 2012 to 2013.

Councillor Sean Woodward, leader of Fareham Borough Council, said the authority’s parking enforcement was fair.

‘The ideal situation of course would be that no-one would overstay their parking time or park on double yellow lines,’ he said.

‘These tickets are issued for infringements and we have a parking regime in Fareham which I think is fairly reasonable. We only charge for parking in Fareham town centre, unlike other areas where they charge everywhere.’

Statistics were not submitted to Churchill by Southampton or Winchester city councils.