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Brighton motorists fined more than £3.5 million last year
City parking wardens issued fines worth more than £3.5 million last year.
Motorists in Brighton and Hove were given 103,219 tickets for flouting parking regulations – boosting council coffers by at least £3.6 million if each ticket was paid within two weeks at £35.
The figure contributed to an overall town hall parking income of £11 million in 2012/13, which council bosses say is reinvested back into transport projects including cycle lanes.
However, Steve Percy, of the People’s Parking Protest, said the cash should be used to benefit the lives of motorists and not spent on “cycle lanes and narrowing roads”.
He said: “At the moment some of the money is going on cycle lanes, bus lanes and narrowing roads, which doesn’t benefit the motorist at all.
"The trouble is the legislation states that it should be used for transport related investments, which includes bikes.”
But Chris Todd, of Brighton and Hove Friends of the Earth, said the money invested in cycle lanes was well spent “due to the better health and air quality”.
He said: “We have very little road space and the sensible way to make use of it is to encourage people to cycle.”
In total, 119,444 parking fines were issued in 2013.
However 16,225 of those, worth at least £567,875, were eventually cancelled.
Reasons for cancellation included 1,423 cases simply listed as “first offence, discretion applied” and 898 “spoiled” tickets that were void because enforcement officers took down incorrect information – for example a vehicle’s registration.
Thirteen tickets were also waived because they were given to window cleaners.
A spokeswoman for Brighton and Hove City Council said: “Window cleaners who are using equipment from a vehicle to carry out their work may apply to the council for a parking permit.
“On seeing the badge the civil enforcement officer will check that window cleaning is in progress and if not a penalty charge notice (PCN) may be issued.
“‘Spoiled’ tickets or ‘PCN not valid’ refers to mistakes made by the civil enforcement officer such as hitting a wrong digit when inputting a number plate.
“In these instances the infor- mation would be corrected and the ticket reissued straight away.
“A first time offence is not considered to be an automatic mitigating circumstance.”
Council leader Jason Kitcat added: “Parking enforcement is carried out according to national standards by our contractor.
“Enforcement is essential to ensure safe roads without obstructions for all road users including bus services.
“The council cannot ‘profit’ from parking enforcement action.
“Any surplus after costs must, by law, be re-invested into transport such as paying for concessionary bus passes, safety improvements and new technology like the popular PayByPhone app we now offer.”
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