Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Parking Tickets Bring in Pounds 1.7m

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Parking Tickets Bring in Pounds 1.7m

Article excerpt

Byline: By Louise Redvers

Town hall chiefs have raked in pounds 1.7m from parking tickets in a year.

Newcastle City Council parking enforcement team has written 70,000 tickets over the last 12 months and that does not count people who park on double yellow lines.

In contrast Northumbria Police whose traffic wardens cover the rest of the North East, except Sunderland, who like Newcastle, have their own parking team, have only given out 6,643 fixed penalties.

And across the whole of Gateshead, South and North Tyneside that includes things like using a mobile phone while driving, waiting in a restricted zone and parking on yellow lines.

Newcastle City Council says the money collected goes back into services like lighting for car parks and Shop Mobility, a scheme for disabled shoppers.

A spokeswoman said: "The Shop Mobility scheme provides battery-powered scooters and wheelchairs for people with mobility difficulties."

But drivers caught by wardens are furious so much money has been made out of their misfortunes. And many blame the 7,000 bays that offer free parking to disabled blue badge holders or loaders but carry a pounds 30 fixed penalty for everyone else.

There is a line of disabled bays on Richardson Road outside the Leazes entrance to the Royal Victoria Infirmary and Paula Jardine, of Throckley is one of many motorists to have contacted the Chronicle about being given a ticket there.

Mum-of-two Paula bought a 60p ticket while asking for directions to the Chapel of Rest where her grandad was, having passed away days earlier. When she returned to her car 10 minutes later she found a pounds 30 penalty notice on her windscreen.

"It's a joke they make so much out of parking," she said. "If they are getting pounds 1.7m a year they could afford to build two new multi-storey car parks. Those signs are just so misleading. They like it that way because more people get caught.

"There must have been a warden nearby when I parked. Why couldn't someone have just warned me I was in a disabled bay instead of watching me park and then sneak up with a ticket. …

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