The high cost of punishing drivers who flout the rules in Bucks has seen the county council bust its on-street parking budget by more than half a million pounds.
Bucks County Council (BCC) has revealed a £494,000 funding gap in on-street parking, which has been blamed on the expensive nature of parking enforcement in the area.
Over the summer BCC launched a new parking plan, which includes virtual permits, cashless parking and a review of on-street limited waiting bays, in a bid to save money.
However the overspend is “an improvement” from the previous year – when the same budget was bust by £650,900 – and will be plugged with money taken from the council’s general funds.
The majority of the council’s income from on-street parking comes from fines, known as Penalty Charge Notices (PCN), however as charges are set nationally, it is difficult to increase cash generated, according to a council report.
The set-up of on-street parking in the county makes parking enforcement “difficult and costly”, while time-limited waiting bays have previously labelled as “time-consuming and difficult to enforce”.
The report, which is due to be presented to BCC’s cabinet on Monday, states: “There is an underlying deficit in relation to on-street parking due to the cost of PCN enforcement exceeding the income generated.
“The majority of the income from on-street parking comes from penalty notices however charges are fixed nationally limiting the ability to increase revenue; and due to the set-up of on-street parking in Buckinghamshire, enforcement is difficult and costly.
“The new parking delivery plan includes an action plan to reducing the Parking deficit so that parking enforcement would be self-financing over time.”
In 2017/18 a total of 40,215 of on-street parking fines were issued, however the council actually recovered 27,507 – or 68 per cent.
And a total of 1,340 of the 2,618 off-street parking fines handed out by parking officers were recovered by the county council.
BCC approved its new parking delivery plan in July, with cabinet member for transport, Mark Shaw, staying it would make things “clearer, quicker and more effective when dealing with parking issues.”