More traffic wardens set to patrol as fines for Coventry motorists soar - The Coventry Observer

14th Aug, 2022

More traffic wardens set to patrol as fines for Coventry motorists soar

Felix Nobes 26th Mar, 2019

MORE traffic wardens are set to patrol Coventry’s streets at night while fines for motorists are continuing to soar.

The council’s latest figures show the number of fines issued to motorists have more than tripled in nine years.

The number of penalty charge notices (PCNs) has risen from 36,000 in 2009/10 to 112,000 by 2017/18.

PCN’s are issued for parking, and bus lane and bus gate enforcement, and parking services manager Paul Bowman says they are vital for ‘road safety’.

Consequently the council is considering an extension to the hours its team of wardens patrols the roads, rising from 7.30am to 10pm rather than 7.15pm as it was previously.

As we reported, the council has been embroiled in a long-running controversy over ‘inadequate’ signage in its city centre parking zones and bus gates.

It follows years of complaints from fined motorists, damning tribunal rulings and denials of problems by council chiefs.

Campaigners and the traffic penalty tribunal have said the signage has seen thousands of motorists unfairly fined, while earning the council millions of pounds.

As we revealed last month, there has been a massive drop in PCNs at the Whittle Arch bus gate on Hale Street in the city centre, after the long-campaigned for larger signage was erected to alert drivers to the gate.

But Mr Bowman said: “Civil Parking enforcement is not always popular with some people but it is absolutely vital to improve road safety, traffic flow and access for essential public and emergency services.

“The level of parking offences continues to increase year on year which is a worrying trend, especially given that there is limited enforcement during the evening/night time.

“Consequently, the appointment of additional enforcement officers to tackle parking problems during the evening is likely to result in a further increase in the number of PCNs issued.

“CEOs need to be professional and efficient, often in difficult circumstances.

“Regrettably they are regularly on the receiving end of verbal and physical assaults whilst carrying out their role.”

Penalty charges are £70 for serious parking offences and £50 for less serious offences.

The penalty charge will be halved to either £35 or £25 if it is paid within 14 days.

For a bus lane contravention the charge is £60, halved to £30 if paid within 14 days of being issued.

If the PCN remains unpaid within 28 days this charge is increased to £90.

The cost to deliver the parking enforcement operation is £1.2million which is entirely funded by fines.

Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) could also be used to enforce some parking restrictions using CCTV cameras where enforcement using the traditional methods is difficult.

ANPR is set to be used outside schools, bus stops, taxi ranks and other ‘parking hotspots’.

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