Lincolnshire County Council collects almost £1m in parking fines

Lincolnshire County Council received nearly £1 million in on-street parking fines from motorists in the 12 months up to the end of March 2015.

A report produced on behalf of the county council has revealed that penalty charges totalling £947,735 were collected across the county from April 1, 2014 to March 31, 2015.

The council receives no income for on-street parking, preferring to provide free limited waiting parking in town centres, which it has said “helps to support local businesses and services by encouraging more visitors.”

However, it does charge drivers for flouting its restrictions, such as parking or waiting for longer than permitted.

The fines form the majority of the total income received from the county council’s parking enforcement programme, which was adopted in December 2012.

The costs of on-street parking enforcement are also substantial, amounting to £917,005 in 2014-2015 and offsetting much of the income received.

£50k parking fines surplus ‘ring-fenced’

Despite this, a surplus of £50,730 was created, which must be ring-fenced by the council and used only for further parking enforcement, supplying parking facilities, or investing in transport and environmental projects.

If the council feels that none of these are required, the funds can be set aside against potential losses for up to five years.

Councillors discussed the findings at the Highways and Transport Scrutiny Committee held on September 14 in Lincoln.

Lincolnshire County Councillor Richard Davies. Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Lincolnshire County Councillor Richard Davies. Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Following the meeting, Councillor Richard Davies, Executive Member for Highways and Transportation, said: “When we introduced parking enforcement in 2012 we expected to run the service at a loss, but we were determined to reduce inconsiderate parking and congestion across Lincolnshire.

“Because our officers run a very efficient service by keeping our costs low, we did actually record a surplus of £50,730 last year.

“Ideally we don’t want to issue any parking tickets and that is not profit. That surplus has been ring-fenced and can only be spent on specific schemes such as improving parking provision, environmental projects or other schemes relating to transportation.

“Currently we are working on a variety of such projects across the county, including the expansion of residents’ parking schemes in Lincoln and the introduction of residents’ parking in Stamford.

“It might be tempting, especially if you are in a rush, to ignore parking restrictions but it isn’t a risk worth taking. Please follow the signs and the lines and you will avoid the fines.”