Brent council coffers fuelled by rise of £12.5m through motoring offences

Parked cars in permit parking areas in the Golden Triangle. The price of the visitors' parking permi

Parked cars in permit parking areas in the Golden Triangle. The price of the visitors' parking permits is to go up. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2014

Motorists breaking the rules in Brent have coughed up £12.5million in fines this year amid a hike in the number of parking tickets being issued.

The figure of 108,000 issued by wardens is 7 per cent higher than it was last year. A further 3,000 were issued automatically using CCTV.

Brent’s annual parking report also reveals how the council earnt £300,000 more this year than was anticipated from parking penalties. Bus lane contraventions in the last 12 months rose to 12,058 penalty tickets.

The council says takings from parking tickets go to fund freedom passes for elderly and vulnerable people in Brent, which costs about £16,157m.

The council estimates it will need to spend a further £1.5m a year on these passes next year.

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Under the Road Traffic Act, local authorities are also allowed to spend surplus parking revenue on other transport schemes.

Some 29pc of fines weren’t paid. A number of those were the result of successful appeals against penalties, but the council was unable to give exact data on how many.

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A council spokesperson said more penalty charge notices (PCNs) are being issued for parking contraventions than in the past, but this is due to more civil enforcement officers being deployed on-street.

In December the Brent & Kilburn Times told how Brondesbury Park motorist Rainer Grupe had accrued a dozen parking tickets dropping off his children at school. He called on the council to stop penalising parents.

He was backed by former councillor Carol Shaw, who died last month. She said at the time: “Wardens give out parking tickets like Smarties. I don’t know why schools are being targeted. But I do know that’s what the parents feel – their only crime is dropping their children off. It’s absurd.”

Brent’s environment boss Cllr Krupa Sheth said: “Brent has some of the busiest roads in Britain and parking charges are necessary to ensure motorists comply with the rules of the road. Any income we make goes towards paying for the freedom pass so elderly and disabled residents get free travel.

“One of our aims is to make Brent a safe borough to drive in and this means improving motoring standards and introducing measures to reduce traffic congestion.

“We will continue to encourage people to use public transport and promote healthier, more environmentally friendly alternatives.”

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