Huge rise in parking fines as wardens issuing 300 tickets a week to East Yorkshire motorists
ALMOST 300 motorists a week are being fined for parking illegally in the East Riding, the Mail can today reveal.
East Riding Council wardens took over responsibility for enforcing parking rules from Humberside Police 12 months ago.
Since then, there has been a huge rise in the number of motorists being fined.
In the past year, 15,259 tickets have been issued – more than the total number police officers handed out in three years.
£10 off your First Session of Counselling or CBT (Hull)View details
If you are feeling unhappy, confused, anxious or angry about your life, then a few sessions of counselling or CBT will help you gain clarity & direction. Confidential, Informal, Friendly.
Terms: New Clients Only - Please Mandi on (01482) 850550 or 07717210969 to book.
Contact: 01482 423349
Valid until: Wednesday, July 31 2013
Defending claims his team of wardens are overzealous, East Riding Council leader Stephen Parnaby said police had been too lenient on motorists in the past.
He said: "Police had not really been doing the service they should have been doing for a number of years."
But some traders claim the wardens scare off shoppers.
Philip Guest, of Guest and Philips Jewelers in Saturday Market, Beverley, said: "I think the wardens are extremely keen.
"I have seen them coming round at 5pm shining torches into windows to check they have got tickets.
"There have also been cases of them being overzealous.
"Primarily, they should be doing traffic management, not handing out tickets for minor infringements.
"There is a danger it will put people off coming to towns like Beverley."
From November last year to October, East Riding Council made £357,325 from parking fines.
John Skidmore, the local authority's head of streetscene services, said the majority of motorists park legally.
The council has always policed its own car parks.
According to its statistics, 1.6 million pay and display parking tickets were bought in the past year and the number of fines handed out is lower than similar-sized towns and cities in England.
Latest available figures show in the 2009-2010 financial year, 20,865 penalty charge notices were issued in Hull.
Mr Skidmore said: "From the start, our aim was to support safe and sensible parking across the East Riding, as the vast majority of motorists park properly and pay for the time they use.
"We still get daily requests from our residents to tackle parking problems and send out enforcement officers who invariably find that it is another example of a badly-parked vehicle blocking someone's access."
Anyone given a penalty charge notice will be fined either £70 or £50, depending on the severity of the offence.
In both cases, a 50 per cent reduction is offered, bringing the fines down to £35 or £25, if the fine is paid within 14 days of issue. Not all traders were critical of the wardens.
Barry Gibson, of the Streamers gift shop in North Bar Within, Beverley, said: "The council has a commitment to enforce the law on parking.
"Initially, some wardens may have been overzealous and more in-house training was given to prevent this."
Mr Parnaby said: "Overall, there has been a small number of complaints, but no one likes getting a parking ticket."
One motorist – a 50-year-old man of Cottingham – who received a ticket earlier this year, said: "They sometimes seem ruthless and there is no negotiation."
Humberside Police failed to respond to the Mail's request for comment.