One in three car park fines ‘not paid’
District councils chase �100,000 in unpaid parking fines.
MORE than one in three parking fines issued in district council-run car parks in North Devon and Torridge last year were not paid.
Figures obtained by the Gazette show that during the last financial year, of the 5,912 Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs) issued in North Devon, 1,902 (32 per cent) were not paid.
In Torridge, of the 3,764 issued, 1,354 (36 per cent) were not settled.
The total money outstanding for unpaid fines equates to around �100,000.
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During the same period in 2011/12, an estimated �90,000 is still owed to Devon County Council in unpaid fines for on-street offences, such as parking on double yellow lines.
Of the 10,362 on-street PCNs issued across the two districts, 2,237 (22 per cent) remain unpaid.
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During the last three years, motorists in North Devon and Torridge have paid more than �1.6million in off-street and on-street parking fines.
Councillor Geoff Lee, chairman of Torridge District Council’s car parks working group, said: “The council takes no pleasure in issuing PCNs and, of course, it costs council tax payers of Torridge every time someone doesn’t pay, as officers then have a process to follow which ultimately can lead to a court appearance and even bailiffs.
“Really it’s so easy to pay for parking tickets these days; you can register with Park Mobile and top up on your phone if you’re running late.
“And I can further report that last week, members agreed not to raise parking charges for the coming year – so I would urge people to pay the correct amount in the first place.”
Diana Hill, North Devon Council’s head of property and technical services, said “The majority of PCNs that are issued in North Devon are paid by drivers within the first 28 days.
“However, for those who don’t pay, the council will follow up all cases to recover the charges owed. This can be a very lengthy process and can sometimes lead to using bailiffs.
“Currently, 32 per cent of PCNs issued in our car parks for 2011/12 haven’t yet been paid. However, we would expect this percentage to drop as cases continue to go through the recovery process.
“The recovery process, as well as when a council can issue a PCN, are clearly defined by the Traffic Management Act. Therefore, if drivers want to avoid being issued with a ticket, they simply need to follow the information on car park signs, park within the bays and pay at the machines.”