Sheffield Council in the money with rise in parking fines

Money being inserted into a car park meter in Sheffield City Centre.
Money being inserted into a car park meter in Sheffield City Centre.
0
Have your say

More than 65,000 motorists in Sheffield were hit with a parking fine in one year – an increase of 12 per cent.

Figures obtained through The Star’s Your Right To Know campaign show the number handed out rose from 58,515 during 2012-13 to 65,632 in 2013-14.

And revenue from pay and display machines across the city is also up by almost £1 million – with £4.7m collected compared with £3.9m the previous year.

Sheffield Council says there are a number of factors which could be behind the increase in fines, such as new loading or waiting restrictions and the introduction of Sunday parking charges and extending evening charges.

The figures show about 42 per cent of fines were for infringements in permit parking zones.

IN OTHER NEWS:

Hundreds turn out to pay respects of funeral of well-known Sheffield Traveller

Sheffield hospital bosses investigating three deaths – including alleged murder by outpatient

Sheffield singer makes bid for stardom on The Voice

Unlimited rail travel for just £10 per person

Coun Leigh Bramall, council cabinet member for business, skills and development, said people were always warned in advance of changes such as the extension of fees until 8.30pm.

He said: “We expect the number of people fined because of those changes to go down over a period of time.

“Most other cities have also instigated these charges, so we are not doing anything differently.

“We do also have a lot of people complaining about illegal parking as well, which we have to enforce.

“If we introduce charges on a Sunday, and it is only £1, and people don’t pay, it is not fair if they don’t get a ticket.

“A proportion of the charges will be raised from permit zones like one in Hillsborough which residents requested.”

In the last year, only 8,049 drivers successfully appealed their fines, which range in price from £25 to £70, a decrease of about 300 compared with the previous year.

Coun Bramall said prices had been reduced by almost 50 per cent at some council off-street car parks, such as Carver Lane and Eldon Street.

He said: “Communities Secretary Eric Pickles has suggested councils use a five-minute observation period before fining people – we already do that.

“In some cases, it used to cost £9.30 for a day, which covered six hours, now it is £1 an hour for up to five hours and after that it is free.

“You can pay £5 a day to park in the middle of the city centre, when in other cities it is much higher.

“I am confident Sheffield is not an expensive place to park, when compared to comparable cities.”

However, campaigners fighting Sheffield parking permit increases say the schemes are a ‘money-making scam’,

Data shows fewer household, business and visitor permits were issued in the last year, but the amount the council received in payments more than doubled to £424,000 in 2013-14.

Estimated operating costs of permit zones – although far exceeding income – dropped from £1.329m in 2012-13 to £1.256m in 2013-14.

Action group Sheffielders for Parking Fairness is campaigning to take the council to court as permit costs have risen from £10 to £36 in two years.

Michael Marsh, group chairman, said: “Income from permits increased by 233 per cent, but over the same period running costs were reduced by 10 per cent. So it is just a money-making scam.”