Council defends predicted doubling of surplus from parking fines in Lincolnshire

Lincolnshire County Council has defended an anticipated £100,000 surplus from its on-street parking enforcement programme, which would be double that of the previous year.

A report to the Highways and Transport Scrutiny Meeting on December 14 has revealed that 18,457 Penalty Charge Notices were issued to motorists in the county between April 1 to September 30 this year.

Nearly 5,000 of the tickets issued were in Lincoln and parking on single and double yellow lines continued to be the most common reason for issuing a penalty charge.

Other frequent parking misdemeanours included parking longer than permitted, and parking in a residents’ or disabled person’s space.

Of the tickets handed out, just over 15,000 have been paid, with 1,368 being cancelled.

Based on the money generated, the county council envisages recording a surplus of at least £100,000 by the end of March.

By comparison, a surplus of £50,730 was created in the 2014-2015 financial year.

Matt Jones, parking services manager, said that a possible £100,000 surplus would result from the efficiency of the parking enforcement service introduced in 2013.

He said: “Ideally we don’t want to issue any parking tickets and that capital isn’t profit.

“Any surplus is 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 considering a variety of such projects across the county including using a van equipped with CCTV equipment to monitor inconsiderate and dangerous parking outside of the county’s schools.

“Lincoln is the largest area in the county which is a condense, busy and thriving city with high levels of traffic and footfall, so it isn’t surprising that this is where many penalty charge notices are generated.

“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.”