Council wants £80 parking fines

The Lincolnshire County Council is looking into taking over control of parking enforcement from Lincolnshire Police and introduce parking fines of up to £80.

The scheme would employ a private company to enforce the parking regulations, which would cost the council half as much as running it internally.

The current Government parking fine guideline is £70, but the County Council says increasing the fines to £80 would bring in £250,000 over five years.

The £80 charges will be for serious parking disruptions, while at the lower end they would cost £60. Currently the bands for parking fines are £70 and £50.

Like with the current scheme, parking tickets would cost up to 50% less if they are paid within 28 days from the issue date.

Lincolnshire County Council’s proposal has not yet submitted the plans for consultation with the Department of Transport.

Brian Thompson from the Lincolnshire County Council defended the scheme, quoting a national drive to introduce civil parking enforcement (CPE) around the country.

“Lincolnshire is one of the few counties where CPE isn’t already in place, and there is a chance we’d be compelled to switch in future,” Thompson said.

“We’ve therefore decided to look at introducing the scheme voluntarily so it can be done in the most effective way.

“The Government has previously indicated that CPE should not be financially detrimental to local authorities.

“As it stands, the scheme would currently result in a significant deficit for Lincolnshire,” he explained.

According to Lincolnshire County Council estimates, it would cost the authority £1.5million over five years to introduce CPE with its own staff.

The council says that using an external company would reduce these costs by half, at around £750,000 over the same period.

“The Traffic Management Act (2004) provides for the decriminalisation of most non-endorsable on-street offences,” explained Keith Smy, Assistant Chief Constable at Lincolnshire Police.

“The effect of this is that responsibility of parking enforcement, including the scale of any charges, transfers from the police to the local authority.

“This transition has already been implemented in a number of force areas throughout the country.

“Currently Lincolnshire Police are working closely with local authorities on this matter, and we will continue to do all we can to ensure that there is a smooth and efficient transition of responsibilities.”

Photo: Andy Jakeman | Related Report: Lincolnshire Echo