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Last Updated: Friday, 9 July, 2004, 11:38 GMT 12:38 UK
Record parking fines: Your reaction
Traffic Warden giving out parking ticket
Parking charges and fines are costing drivers in Britain nearly one billion pounds a year.

The level of money raised has gone up by 50% in seven years, new government figures show.

Drivers in Birmingham, Manchester and Brighton and Hove were issued with the most parking fines in the country, according to a national league table.

What are you experiences with parking fines? Do you think that one billion pounds is an acceptable level?

This debate is now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.

Your comments:

Yellow lines are usually put there for a reason - to prevent congestion or to increase the safety of pedestrians. Perhaps those drivers who complain about money-grabbing councils should pause to think about the extent to which they inconveniencing and endangering others next time they can't be bothered to find a legal parking space.
Suzanne B, Herts, UK

Traffic Regulation Orders are usually made by county councils . Why don't those people with strong opinions stand as candidates at next year's elections and empower themselves.
Tony, Chesterfield UK

I wouldn't mind if tickets were given out fairly and consistently, but too often, as an earlier poster highlights, wardens are seen lurking around legitimate parking areas to get the easy catch of a driver over-running their time by five minutes, while cars are parked on pavements, in bus lanes and in outrageously dangerous places elsewhere in town.
Russ Haines, Bristol, UK

I sympathise with the frustration of seeing wardens waiting for meters to expire
Graham, Barnstaple, UK
I sympathise with the frustration of seeing wardens waiting for meters to expire whilst ignoring someone who is causing traffic chaos. What about one level of fine for overstaying on a meter/restricted area (still enough to deter the practice) but a really stinging level (plus tow-away) for people blocking bus lanes, taking disabled spaces or causing obstructions on double yellows? Wardens on commission would then have an incentive to target the real problem.
Graham, Barnstaple, UK

In Maidstone town centre they have started charging to park at night. This has not been advertised very well. Last week we where in a restraint there is a car park opposite. We sat and watched cars going in there to park. We where amazed to watch two traffic wardens waiting for them to leave the car park, before slapping a ticket strait on the window. Tell me they're not on commission!
Garth, Kent

Motorists on the whole are fairly affluent, in work, generally law abiding and pay their taxes. That makes them a good target for further stealth tax. However, the backlash is that they are also voters. Time to call an end to this cynical squeeze of the poor motorist who if left alone will accelerate the prosperity of this country.
Adrian, Woking, Surrey

Fair play to the parking wardens. How about we allow them to operate in supermarket car parks too, it might free up the special needs bays for those that actually need them
Paul, UK

Traffic wardens should be fined themselves for issuing bogus tickets
Gideon Durakli-Grace, London
We have had 3 parking fines recently. Twice for parking without displaying our disabled card (which was in fact clearly displayed) and once for parking in the disabled bay outside our house but with wheels straddling the lines of the space because other cars had parked into the space. The first one was revoked, the second we had to pay anyway instead of going to court and the third is currently under contest with the local authority. Traffic wardens must be on commission and should be fined themselves for issuing bogus tickets.
Gideon Durakli-Grace, Wood Green, London

Graham Woodier you have obviously never parked in Westminster or Camden. Faded yellow lines on the roadways, bays with missing parking meters, parking regulation signs defaced or faded. Try Boundary Road, one side issues Camden vouchers which will are not acceptable in Westminster. All these and other tactics and rude parking infringement issuers, I won't call them traffic wardens because they have nothing to do with traffic, to trap motorists into paying. Traffic problems are the result of government failure at all levels!
Richard A Blackman, UK

If the people who have garages with their houses actually used them, there would be a lot fewer cars parked in our residential estates. But it seems we'd rather suffer the congestion and risk parking fines rather than pay to store the old clutter we just can't bear to throw away.
Ian W, Hemel Hempstead, Herts

Perhaps cars should be towed away instead
Tim Joyce, UK
Drivers are getting lazier and can't be bothered to find a parking space if it means walking more than a few steps. The trouble is the owners of the flash cars that park on yellow lines & in "disabled" spaces can afford the fines - perhaps cars should be towed away instead!
Tim Joyce, UK

1 billion, wow.....where has that money gone to I wonder? Probably towards paying the Traffic Wardens holidays and not enough on training them.
Zahoor, London

Brighton Council has purposely rearranged the parking in most of Brighton and Hove to make the parking fine enforcement system more profitable. They have installed residents parking areas based on "mock" public consultation, where you have no chance of parking anywhere near your home. They have installed pay and display machines around dying shopping areas, where previously it was free to street park. The council have effectively creating a parking problem 10 times worse than what we had before. The (privatised) parking wardens were brought in with a fanfare to keep the streets moving, but mainly hover around pay and display/voucher bays waiting for the tickets to expire to slap a fine on them. If you are planning on visiting, don't it's a rip off.
Max, Brighton

Illegally parked cars are a menace to other road users
Lee, Oxford, UK
Illegally parked cars are a menace to other road users, particularly environmentally-friendly cyclists. I believe that charges for legal parking should be lowered, and fines should be exorbitant in order to be a real deterrent. However, it would be necessary to divert some of the income from fines to the car park operators, otherwise they would have no incentive to join in.
Lee, Oxford, UK

Take the bus or train!
Kay Macfarlane, Edinburgh, Scotland

This just proves even more that if everyone in this country were to stop motoring completely, the country would meltdown! We should be thankful that so many people aspire to drive (and essentially hand over their wage packet every month to do so)
Cameron, Scotland

It's terrible that Parking Wardens are paid on commission, this encourages the warden to issue a ticket without giving the time of day.
Matt Sherry, Salisbury

Parking tickets are a licence to print money for local councils
Gay Richardson, Fowey, Cornwall
Parking tickets are a licence to print money for local councils - they are used to balance their budgets. I think that it's important to note that they would not be in such dire circumstances if local authorities were properly funded.
Gay Richardson, Fowey, Cornwall

We all have to get used to the fact that we have to pay to park, but there are a lot of racketeers about. Here in Stone a retail chain engaged one of these racketeers and overnight and without warning, imposed three-figure fines. Perhaps Mr Blunkett would turn his attention to controlling these racketeers and the level of fines they impose. Needless to say, but hardly any of the motorists in Stone intend to pay the fines.
Barry, Stone, Staffs

One billion pounds is not enough. I am fed up with people who think they can park wherever they like. Traffic congestion in this country is bad enough without some selfish and thoughtless driver abandoning his vehicle on yellow lines and causing a needless tailback just because he or she is too lazy to walk.
Simeon Lyons, Cambridgeshire England

You have to pay to drop your kids off at school & pick them up
Steve W, Brighton
It sucks. Previously unzoned roads become zoned, pushing volumes of traffic out to previously 'quiet' family neighbourhoods so you can't park outside your house. You have to pay to drop your kids off at school & pick them up - this hit us only recently as it was previously free & the wardens wait like vultures. At 9am! The first 15 mins should be free. Basically quality of life has gone down, expense has gone up. The money raised should be pumped back to improve our lives not make them worse. Moan, moan....
Steve W, Brighton

How about spending some of this on building a road, rather than taxing motorists even more in tolls?
John, Coventry, UK

I think this shows that car parks and roadside parking are too expensive. It has become harder and harder to find somewhere to park when visiting friends on the other side of Bath over the last few years, as more and more roads are turned into Residents Only zones. Why should I pay for parking when I was born here? I don't leave my car anywhere illegal though, so the fines do not affect me - I just end up walking further. You might say that's a good thing, but with a toddler and a newborn, it ain't much fun on the hills...
Steve, Bath, UK

This highlights how motorists are being targeted and are seen as a soft hit by government bodies
M.Egginton, UK
Once again this highlights how motorists are being targeted and are seen as a soft hit by government bodies. Local authorities would appear to be setting targets to achieve an increase in revenues, and this would appear to be enforced more by private traffic warden business acting on behalf of the local authorities. Where is all the money being spent that is raised from the different taxes placed on motorists, it certainly is not being spent on the UK's ageing and crumbling road network or improving the low cost parking facilities
M.Egginton, UK

Put some yellow lines down restrict the legitimate parking facilities available, say you are trying to deter motorists from driving into town and reap the rewards from issuing parking tickets. Simple council economics on how to trap the motorist again.
Tim, Bradford West Yorkshire

Parking fines have little to do with traffic management now and have become stealth tax. It runs as a lottery which has losers instead of winners.
Ron , Hertfordshire, UK

The trick is to pay attention to parking restriction signs
Graham Woodier, Great Sutton, UK
I have never received a parking fine. The trick is to pay attention to parking restriction signs - or if parking is difficult don't go or don't take your car.
Graham Woodier, Great Sutton, UK

Good for them. I've lost track of the number of times I've seen cars left in the most obstructive and ridiculous places imaginable. It makes me wish I was a traffic warden sometimes. If the drivers have a complaint I have a simple piece of advice for them. Don't park on double yellow lines!
Paul, Stoke, UK

I've seen people park in Ambulance bays, on pavements, on central reservations and on the apex of street corners, not to mention the daily group of parents that decide the no-stopping zone outside schools exclude them. Parking fines might be considered unfair and annoying but how else can we dealt with these people who don't think the rules apply to them?
Chris, Liverpool

I have contested (with good reason) many parking tickets and have often been let off. I suspect many people are unwilling to contest them for fear of having to pay more if they lose, and so parking authorities simply "try it on" with drivers. These authorities should be penalised every time a ticket is successfully contested, to ensure that they issue tickets only when there is a genuine case. It disgusts me what dirty tactics they seem to employ on the very public they are supposed to serve.
Richard, London, UK

Yet another motorist bashing revenue raising scheme - why is anyone surprised. As a motorist in this country you get used to being ripped off at every opportunity.
Trevor, Cambs

Parking fines reach record high
07 Jul 04  |  England
Drivers 'issued with more fines'
22 Jun 04  |  Southern Counties
Wardens tell drivers to buzz off
15 Jun 04  |  Manchester
Drink-driver lands 39,000 fine
06 Jul 04  |  Europe
'Too few tickets' warden sacked
06 Jun 04  |  London

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