Page last updated at 12:03 GMT, Monday, 22 March 2010

Proposals for councils to issue parking fines of 100


Parking fines could be 100

Ministers are considering allowing councils to issue parking tickets of up to £100.

The Scottish government said increasing the fine from £60 could reduce illegal parking in congested cities and fund rising parking enforcement costs.

It would only apply in areas where councils employ their own parking attendants, which includes Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Dundee.

A public consultation on the proposals will run until June.

Motorists who illegally park in areas where council wardens issue tickets, rather than police officers, currently face a penalty of £60.

If the fine is paid within 14 days, this reduces to £30.

However, the new proposals suggest councils should have the option of charging two higher rates of parking fine.

Costs can be such that a motorist may consider that the option of not to pay for parking
Scottish government consultation

Local authorities would be expected to introduce the lower rate of £80, according to the consultation document.

But the maximum penalty permitted would be raised to £100, with drivers continuing to receive a 50% discount if they pay within 14 days.

The consultation suggests the current fine level, which was set in 2001, does little to deter illegal parking in cities.

"Costs can be such that a motorist may consider that the option of not to pay for parking and risk getting a penalty charge notice outweighs the parking charge set by the local authority for a day's parking", it adds.

Appeal costs

It also states that rising costs mean parking enforcement schemes are becoming increasingly difficult for councils to fund, with staff salary costs increasing by 50% alone.

The number and cost of appeal cases has also doubled in the past three years, as more drivers challenge their tickets.

Six local authorities currently have decriminalised parking enforcement, including Perth and Kinross and South Lanarkshire.

Several others are said to be "actively" considering the scheme, which was introduced in 1991 to allow councils to issue parking fines and retain the money collected.

However, the Scottish government said the income was used by councils to fund parking enforcement procedures and not as additional revenue.

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