£138k in parking fines paid in three months since return of wardens
PUBLISHED: 07:00 10 July 2017
North Somerset Council insists its civil parking enforcement (CPE) is 'not a money-making scheme' despite raking in £138,000 in fines in three months.
CPE has been the talk of the town centre since it was implemented in April, with businesses and residents complaining about the return of parking wardens – while the council has reported its officers have been on the receiving end of abuse on Weston’s streets and social media.
The council took control of parking enforcement from the Avon and Somerset Constabulary, with 11 wardens taking to North Somerset’s streets – making them the first to patrol the town for 20 years.
The council has handed out fines up to £70 to more than 1,000 motorists, although there are additional penalties or discounts depending on when the fine is paid.
But despite collecting nearly £150,000 in fines, the council says it is not making money, and surplus cash will be used to improve the town’s transport network.
A council spokesman said: “You have to take into account set-up costs and running costs.
“It is anticipated the scheme will be self-financing with any surplus at the end of the year going into local transport schemes and road improvements. It is too early to say whether there will be a surplus.
“This is not a money-making scheme – it’s about improving parking to ease congestion, leading to a higher turnover of parking spaces making it easier for people to get about and park and improving access for emergency vehicles.”
Concerns have been raised that CPE is negatively impacting businesses, while others have complained about the conduct of wardens.
The council too says its staff have faced ‘repeated abusive behaviour’ from motorists.
Parking manager Allan Taylor said: “This behaviour is a disgrace and has to stop. If anyone has an issue with the way a parking offence has been handled they should make a formal complaint via the proper channels.”