Parking charges bring in £2.5m for the council coffers

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PARKING charges and fines have raised a bumper £2.5 million for the council during the past year.

And an extra £500,000 could be forthcoming this year as a result of a hike in parking fees.

It has also been revealed that motorists in one Calderdale town have been fined nearly £6,500 in the past twelve months for illegally parking in just two ‘spaces’.

A total of 181 penalty charge notices were served on motorists for wrongly stopping on a keep clear section of Bradford Road, Brighouse.

Calderdale Council used to employ its own parking wardens whose job was to enforce waiting restrictions and collect money from payment machines.

But in April 2010 the job was privatised and handed to Vinci Park Services which some people expected would lead to more stringent enforcement.

The figures for the first full year, which were released this week, show that income from parking fines has remained virtually unchanged.

In 2007/8 the 19,000 fines raised £550,000 and the following year, 16,000 fines raised £430,000

That compares to 17,654 fines last year and income of £505,000.

Just over one in 10 fines were waived after motorists appealed.

During the last financial year the total income from on and off street parking charges amounted to £1,915,000.

The council’s economy and environment spokesman Coun Barry Collins (Lab, Illingworth and Mixenden) said there had been claims recently that motorists were being discouraged from visiting Halifax because of parking difficulties and charges.

“Some problems might have been caused by the development at Broad Street but it is nonsense to say motorists have been driven out by charges because they have been the same for years,” he said.

lAt the budget council meeting in March, councillors agreed to put up parking charges by between 10p and 20p per hour - the first increase for five years.

They also agreed to reorganise parking services staff and reduce the number of jobs from 17 to 13 in a bid to save £70,000 a year.