Figures obtained via a freedom of information request show some streets in Bristol seem to be ticket hotspots. Last year almost £168,520 was made from just one CCTV camera on Cheltenham Road. Another camera on Bedminster Parade netted the council £81,310 and £51,620 was brought in from Berkeley Square in the city centre.
In total, from April 2011 to February 2012, Bristol City Council have collected £2.7 million in parking fines - £789,880 from that has come from drivers who have been ticketed for driving in bus lanes.
Top ticketed roads in Bristol
- 1. Gloucester Road (Horfield)
- 2. A38 Cheltenham Road
- 3. Gloucester Road (Bishopston)
- 4. Horsefair
- 5. Bath Road (A4)
- 6. Berkeley Square
- 7. Penn Street
- 8. Bedminster Parade.
The sum spent by the council on providing parking services, including maintaining metres and car parks, paying wardens and issuing tickets, has been steadily increasing each year. It now stands at almost £6.2 million.
This means the income the council gets from parking fines pays back almost 45% of what it originally pays out.
Terry Bullock from the transport department of Bristol City Council says parking tickets are necessary because although the council wants people to come into the city,
– Terry Bullock, Bristol City Council Transport Department
If everyone came in by car and parked everywhere then the centre would get very, very congested. We've done a lot to help reduce congestion in the city in the last few years and parking enforcement is one of the weapons to do that.
Hassan Mashuk owns a restaurant on Bath Road which is one of the most ticketed places in Bristol. The restaurant has no parking, double yellow lines and a bus lane just outside. Mr Mashuk once got two tickets in two minutes: the first for parking outside his restaurant on double yellow lines to unload a delivery van and the second for moving into the bus lane when he drove off. In total he says he has spent more than £2,500 on parking tickets. Ticket wardens can be seen in his area several times a day and he says his parking problem is affecting customers.
– Hassan Mashuk, Restaurant owner
I've had customers coming in for a ten or fifteen pound curry and they've got a thirty pound ticket so it's worked out that they might as well have sat down and had an expensive meal.
Robert Oxley from the campaign group the TaxPayers' Alliance says parking tickets are making life even more difficult for drivers and that “many hard pressed motorists who have already faced heavy taxation will suspect these parking fines are more about raising revenue. The fact is it's not only hurting motorists but it also damages local business."
– Robert Oxley, TaxPayers' Alliance
Many hard-pressed motorists who have already faced heavy taxation will suspect these parking fines are more about raising revenue. The fact is it's not only hurting motorists but it also damages local business.
Here is Cordelia Lynch's full report on the parking fines controversy. You can follow her on Twitter.