Cost of enforcement exceeds fines

10:38 22 November 2012

Parking cartoon

Parking cartoon

Archant

The issuing of parking tickets in East Devon could lose £3.6million of taxpayers’ cash over four years.

A recent Freedom of Information (FOI) request by the Journal has revealed the financial cost of traffic wardens, since parking enforcement was transferred from the police to the district council in spring 2008.

But East Devon District Council (EDDC) bosses insist that parking enforcement is not seen as a ‘cash cow’, and is vital to avoid parking chaos.

Last week’s Journal revealed that EDDC’s Civil Enforcement Officers spend almost half the week in Exmouth.

And since 2008 almost half of the 9,378 tickets, or Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs) issued in East Devon’s seven towns have been in Exmouth.

But the figures also show the massive cost; in the financial year 2008/2009, wages and administration costs totalled approximately £1.1million, but fines added up to just £230,500.

In 2010/2011, costs were £1.19million with fines totalling £268,467.

Over three years the scheme has led to a deficit of £2.76million; and once this year’s figures are calculated, it is is set to rise to £3.6million.

PCNs are split between street parking, with fines going to county hall, and car parks, run by EDDC.

A district council spokesman said that although PCNs held a maximum possible fine of £70, because most people paid promptly the fines were often either £25 or £35.

He added: “We deploy our parking enforcement staff proportionately throughout the district so that the level of enforcement reflects the size of, and the amount of traffic in, each town or village.

“As the district’s largest town with the most traffic, it’s unsurprising that Exmouth sees more tickets issued.”

He added that ‘raising funds’ was not the motivation for issuing parking tickets: “We issue PCNs to enforce the law, to encourage motorists to park safely and considerately, and to ensure good turnover and availability of spaces.

“We always try to take a fair and balanced approach… putting safety first.

“This helps make sure traffic flows more easily around towns and that there is better availability of both on and off-street parking.”

The Welsh town of Aberystwyth is an example of what would happen if there was no parking enforcement.

For one year the town had no traffic wardens.

A spokesman for Ceredigion County Council said: “Generally it is accepted that it is better to have some parking enforcement than none at all.

“While I wouldn’t say it was parking chaos, drivers did park where they liked and that led to problems in the town centre.”

0 comments

Other News Stories

11:07

Sidmouth residents among those battling against ‘unfair’ hike in state pension age

Read more

A Sidmouth family are hoping to brighten up the town and raise money for charity after decorating their house in eye-catching Christmas lights.

Read more
17:00

Axminster Medical Practice’s Patient Participation Group is urging people to ‘be a good neighbour’ during the colder months.

Read more
15:00

Seaton Methodist Church will be hosting Come and Sing Carols event.

Read more

A new housing development on the edge of Budleigh Salterton could be named after a ‘pillar of the community’.

Read more
11:38

Sidmouth College pupils got into the festive spirit by taking part in a Christmas tradition.

Read more
11:00

A Christmas fayre will be held by Honiton 55+ Centre this month.

Read more

Pupils at St Helen’s school in Abbotsham have been learning about road safety in the Honest Truth campaign with police and the fire service.

Read more

A retired Pecorama worker was stopped in his tracks when his former employers organised a surprise party.

Read more
06:30

An Exmouth scout group is to receive a financial boost, thanks to a new district council initiative.

Read more

Local Weather

Rain

Rain

max temp: 12°C

min temp: 5°C

Most Read News

Place a family notice

Family Notices 24

Newsletter Sign Up

Find a job in Devon



Local business directory

Devon's trusted business finder

FFind planning applications