09/10/2007

Tickets Bonanza On Parking

A year after responsibility for parking fines moved from the police to the Department for Regional Development (DRD), more than 140,000 tickets for illegal parking have been issued.

New statistics show that since parking enforcement moved from the PSNI last October, 143,564 parking tickets were issued by DRD-contracted National Car Parks wardens.

Based on the minimum parking fines being £30, this translates into more than £4 million paid to the authorities in that time, with Belfast motorists suffering most - some 38,000 penalties issued – being far greater than anywhere else in the Province.

DRD's Roads Service parking enforcement manager Simon Richardson said they were quite happy for the number of tickets under the new regime to be disclosed but denied claims that traffic attendants received bonuses according to the number of tickets issued.

He said: "I can assure you this is not the case. We have nothing to hide regarding ticket numbers and the only reason tickets are issued is because drivers continue to park illegally.

"Our aim is not to issue tickets but rather to encourage people to park properly.

"Illegal parking causes disruption to traffic and sometimes poses a safety threat to road users.

"It can also cause major difficulties for blue badge holders and delivery drivers trying to deliver their goods.

"I would therefore encourage all drivers to be aware of the parking restrictions and abide by them at all times.

"We want to continue to be open and transparent about all aspects of civil parking enforcement and we will publish an annual report detailing facts and figures relating to the first year of the Roads Service operation," he concluded.

(BMcC)

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