Why are more people challenging parking fines?

Why are more people challenging parking fines?
Why are more people challenging parking fines?

The number of disgruntled drivers challenging parking fines in Bucks doubled in just one year.

In 2016/17 a total of 3,582 penalties handed to drivers seemingly flouting the rules were challenged, compared with 6,192 the following year, according to Bucks County Council (BCC) figures.

At a meeting of BCC’s cabinet on Monday (October 22) councillors discussed the annual parking report, prompting Cllr John Chilver to ask why there had been such a major increase in challenges.

Projects and financial accountancy manager, Elspeth O’Neill, told members that drivers usually challenge tickets if the restrictions and yellow lines were not clear.

However, the exact reasons for the increase are not yet known, and Ms Gibson said the council will work to identify any specific issues that may have caused the numbers to rise.

The overall recovery rate of fines is 68 per cent – which Ms Gibson blamed on the difficulty of tracing some drivers who either are not living at their registered address, are not living in the UK or are in prison.

Last week it was revealed the high cost of punishing drivers who flout the rules in Bucks has seen the county council bust its on-street parking budget by almost half a million pounds – which was blamed on the expensive nature of parking enforcement in the area.

Councillor Warren Whyte asked if introducing a parking disc system, which would allow drivers to show what time they parked, would help alleviate the issue.

He said: “In my local area forum there are discussions over how to make parking enforcement easier, more cost effective. I do wonder if there is an opportunity at some point to find out if parking discs are an option.

“One of the challenges when a parking officer sees a car they have to spend some time to observe and monitor, and then come back, obviously it is quite time consuming.

“I know some councils do use parking discs quite satisfactorily, where the parker declares the time they arrive and then it’s much easier to move them on if they need to.

“In some of our smaller market towns where on street parking is really important for the local economy, we want to make sure that there is the right turnover of parking so people can go to the shops, go to the post office and support that rural trade.

“But obviously we don’t have to spend a lot of money enforcing it if there is an easier way to do it.”

Cabinet member for transport, Mark Shaw, said the suggestion will be made to BCC’s parking governance board.