£200,000 in unpaid parking tickets

Parking fines: �200k remains unpaid after two years.
Parking fines: �200k remains unpaid after two years.
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MORE than £200,000 in parking fines remains unpaid - nearly two years after the fines were issued by a South Yorkshire council, it can be revealed today.

Figures under the Freedom of Information Act show motorists who were handed tickets during the year ending in April 2010 have still not paid £201,076 in fines.

The council writes off tickets altogether in some circumstances, such as when it cannot trace drivers.

In total, since April 2009, the council is still to collect £605,033.

The figures were requested as part of The Star’s Focus on Parking campaign, which aims to highlight public concerns over parking in Doncaster.

The total for the 2010 to 2011 financial year was £187,868, while the total for the current financial year up to December 31 last year, was £216,089.

In a statement Doncaster Council Parking Services department said: “We adhere in full to the Traffic Management Act 2004 as to when an issued penalty charge notice can be cancelled, due to circumstances such as vehicles’ owners not being traceable.”

But Coun Mick Jameson, one of the most senior councillors on the council, and the chairman of the South Yorkshire Integrated Transport Authority, said: “I think we should pursue these cases rather more vigorously.

“I observe the parking rules and I don’t see why other people should not.

“The rules are there to make sure we do not get congestion, and help traffic move freely.

“People who do get fined and have a reasonable excuse can appeal if they think the ticket is wrong. But people should not be surprised if they get a ticket for parking in a restricted area.”

But Doncaster Council officials say it can take two years for them to get cash from fines.

Peter Dale, director of regeneration and environment, said: “The procedures for recovering parking penalties are set by the Government and must be followed by all local authorities.

“There is nothing unusual about the level of unpaid penalties in Doncaster, in fact around 60 per cent of our parking penalties are paid within 14 days of issue, well above the national average of around 52 per cent.

“The process for recovering outstanding penalties can take up to two years, with payments being recovered on a daily basis, therefore we will have a more accurate figure for unpaid penalties for 2009/10 at the end of March this year.”

It was recently revealed that Hall Gate was the main parking ticket hotspot in Doncaster, with 815 tickets during 2010/11, ahead of Armthorpe Road with 734, Market Place with 438, College Road with 438 and Copley Road with 401.