THE Capital employs more parking wardens than anywhere else in the UK outside London, according to new figures.
Statistics obtained by way of Freedom of Information requests to councils across Britain reveal that 121 parking attendants operate in Edinburgh. Westminster had the highest number of parking attendants with 242, followed by the north London borough of Islington with 135, and in fourth place came Lambeth, in south London, with 99.
Edinburgh City Council pays private firm NSL, formerly NCP, £5.9 million a year to provide its parking attendants.
Since 2010, parking wardens in Edinburgh have issued 388,039 tickets, which equates to more than £5.7 million worth of revenue for the city, however this figure has dropped by more than a million pounds in the last year.
The council has insisted that it needs to maintain a high number of wardens to ensure the city is kept “moving smoothly” and that a visible presence is needed to persuade drivers to adhere to the city’s parking regulations.
Earlier this week the Evening News revealed that one in six parking tickets handed out in the Capital has been issued wrongly, and that in the last 12 months, half of the people who appealed their ticket saw their £30 fines scrapped,
In June, the Evening News reported that the number of parking fines issued in the Capital’s busiest streets has risen by almost three per cent in the last year.
Figures showed Edinburgh’s top 20 “most ticketed” streets saw more than 49,000 fines issued last year, with 21,680 issued on George Street alone, bringing in revenue of £650,000 and making it the most ticketed street in the country.
Insurance firm LV= surveyed more than 200 local authorities across Britain to discover that £340m has been issued in fines over the past 12 months.
LV= managing director John O’Roarke said: “The lack of free parking is putting increasing pressure on cash-strapped motorists and many are resorting to parking illegally.
“This problem is being exacerbated as councils increase the number of paid parking zones in their areas and take on more parking attendants to police them. Motorists who are visiting busy areas should plan ahead and consider parking slightly further away to avoid high parking charges.”
A council spokeswoman said: “We are responsible for enforcing parking restrictions over a wide geographical area, which incorporates one of the UK’s biggest controlled parking zones including a large number of roads which are vital to the free flow of traffic.
“These factors, combined with the fact there are 22,000 residents’ permits and an exceptionally large number of visitors, means that sufficient numbers of parking attendants are required in order to keep the city moving smoothly.”