Four out of five North Somerset parking tickets handed out in Weston
PUBLISHED: 07:16 20 November 2017 | UPDATED: 07:26 20 November 2017
Four in every five parking tickets handed out by North Somerset Council's new traffic wardens have been given to motorists in Weston, the Mercury can reveal.
More than 1,500 drivers a month in the town were ticketed on average in the opening weeks of the crackdown on illegal parking – while some parts of the district have not incurred a single penalty.
The council took on parking enforcement in early April and in the first half of year about £250,000 was collected in fines.
But the Mercury can reveal the overwhelming proportion of those fines were paid in Weston.
Up until the end of July, 6,417 of the 8,025 tickets issued were in Weston. By comparison, Nailsea and Portishead drivers received little more than 300 between them.
It has led to some criticism that the system is unfair and bad for business.
Cllr Mark Canniford, who runs a Spar store too, said: “We (in Weston) are being hit twice.
“It will only be fair if charges are levied all over the district. The enforcement is way too inflexible in Weston.”
The council has defended the figures, saying Weston has more tourists and more areas where people must pay to park.
Cllr Richard Nightingale said one contributory factor is Weston has more double-yellow lines than other parts of the district.
He said: “As Central Ward councillor I received daily reports of poor parking especially on corners of roads, usually restricting access for waste collections and other vehicles.
“My biggest fear was that if we had an emergency incident which needed to be attended by ambulances or fire engines, they might not be able to do so and people could be seriously injured.
“Clearly a better way had to be found to make neighbourhoods safer and the result is the fledgling enforcement you see today. However, parking control is not just a one-way process and like any new scheme it’s important to continuously review its implementation.
“The council has agreed to a review of parking enforcement relating to double and single yellow lines, which is scheduled for early next year.”
But he believes the enforcement has reduced ‘dangerous parking’.
A surplus of £50,000 is expected to be achieved by the council through parking enforcement by the end of the financial year. That money can only be put towards road improvement schemes.