Visitors pick up 18 per cent rise in parking fines

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THE number of parking fines issued by a council has leapt by more than 18 per cent, with the authority putting it down to an increase in visitors to Bury St Edmunds.

Figures released under a Freedom of Information request show that St Edmundsbury Borough Council had collected £117,823 in parking fines (also called excess charge notices) by January 6 – with three months of its financial year still to go.

That compares to £96,711 last year and £96,831 and £94,432 the two years prior to that.

A spokeswoman for the council said: “Recent development in Bury St Edmunds has provided more car parking spaces and attracted larger numbers of visitors to the town. The cost of an excess charge notice has not gone up and the rise in the amount being paid reflects visitor numbers.”

Those visitor attractions include the opening of the arc shopping centre and The Apex public venue in October.

Parking fines are due to go up in April.

The FOI request also reveals that the council does not keep track of the number of times its car parks in Bury reach capacity. The council received nearly £2.7 million in parking charges from the town’s off-street car parks last year and another £74,000 in season tickets.

It also collected £31,728 last year from its own staff and Suffolk County Council staff through parking fees at West Suffolk House in Bury.