Parking tickets drop as staff ‘help drivers’

The multi storey car park in Bury St Edmunds.
The multi storey car park in Bury St Edmunds.
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The number of parking tickets issued by St edmundsbury Borough Council has dropped by 37 per cent in two years.

The news comes as a survey for the car insurer LV reveals that nationally the number of excess charge notices (ECN) issued by councils has gone up four per cent since 2012 and costs motorists £30 million.

St Edmundsbury said its 2,490 notices issued last year represent only 0.1 per cent of 2,406,258 pay-and-display tickets sold in 2012. They are 20 per cent down on 2011 and 37 per cent below 2010.

A council spokeswoman said: This dramatic reduction is a direct result of the customer service our car park attendants offer, actively managing traffic and looking after car park users.

“Fines are issued as a last resort, in most cases where it is apparent that no payment for the service has been made or attempted.”

The LV survey revealed the commonest causes of getting a fine are staying too long and not realising a ticket was required.

But St Edmundsbury says its figure show 99.9 per cent of drivers understand and comply with the parking charges.

The spokeswoman added: “We give out a guide to parking fines and appeals with every fine, which gives clear guidance about why the fine was issued and what grounds are considered if appealing.

“This clear explanation has had a significant effect on the number of appeals being made with the number dropping by 58 per cent in the last year.”

The figures given to LV under a freedom of information request show that in St Edmundsbury and Forest Heath people are most likely to get a parking fine on a Saturday. In St Edmundsbury, 14 per cent more ECNs are issued on a Saturday than on Wednesday’s market day, the next highest day for them.