Parking charges hit £250,000 in just a year as council warns: ‘Don’t park illegally’

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DRIVERS have been stung with parking fines to the tune of more than £250,000, it can be revealed.

Nearly 6,500 parking charge notices were levied on hapless drivers in 2017/18, up by 1,196 compared to the year previous.

Since 2013, the number of parking fines paid in the borough has increased by 13 per cent.

A Fareham Borough Council report said income from parking charge notices and other charges in 2017/18 hit £250,470.

Councillor Sean Woodward, borough council leader, said: ‘There is one absolutely certain way to avoid a parking fine: don’t park illegally.

‘If people park illegally, it causes problems. Keeping traffic moving is our priority.’

He added: 'Our wardens apply fines very fairly.

'It’s only right and proper that drivers are fined if they park without consideration to other people.

'There is plenty of legal parking in Fareham.

‘If no one parked illegally, there would be no need for wardens.’

The most common reason for getting a charge in a car park was for not clearly displaying a valid pay and display ticket.

For on-street parking charges this was driver parking in a restricted street during set hours.

Fareham is divided into 15 parking zones, with officers patrolling each zone at least twice a week, while schools and hot spots are patrolled more often.

The report said West Street was a hotspot for on-street parking fines, with 872 being issued last year. Market Quay car park was a hotspot for off-street fines, with 97 being issued.

Parking fines are charged at £70 or £50. If payments are made within 14 days of the infraction, 50 per cent of the fine is discounted. Last year, more than 80 per cent of fines were paid at the discounted rate.

The annual report is due to be discussed at a review panel on September 11.