A VAN owner has claimed the crown of the city’s most-ticketed driver after being slapped with £17,000 worth of fines and additional charges in just five years.
The motorist has racked up 163 parking tickets since 2010 for repeatedly flouting traffic rules around Bruntsfield Place and Leamington Terrace – with wardens already catching them out twice this year.
Figures show the driver has paid out £9580 to the council, but is still being chased for an outstanding debt of £7379.
The van in question was registered to luxury homeware store Acanthus on Bruntsfield Place – where desk lamps can sell for as much as £260 – within the last 12 months.
But the owner of Acanthus yesterday declined to comment when contacted by the News.
Community leaders admitted Bruntsfield was a hotspot for traffic wardens but accused the van’s owner of “making a mockery of the system”.
A spokesman for Merchiston community council, which covers the Bruntsfield area, said: “All I can say is all these streets, whether it’s a main street or a side road, are very well patrolled by parking wardens. They have a strong presence in the area, put it that way.
“Every day of the week a car is towed away between Church Hill and Holy Corner. On average I would think it’s probably more than that.
“But how the person has been allowed to get away with it is more the point. They shouldn’t let it get to 163 tickets – that’s someone just making a mockery of the system. Before it gets to that stage they should be taking it further.”
Figures released under Freedom of Information laws show the city’s second most-ticketed driver has been hit with a comparatively paltry 79 fines, with £3430 still unpaid.
In total, the five most-ticketed vehicles in Edinburgh owe almost £22,000 in outstanding debt to the council after accumulating 393 penalties since 2010.
A council spokeswoman said drivers who “persistently contravene the regulations” would be “subject to enforcement action and liable to considerable charges as a result”.
She said: “Parking restrictions are in place to ensure accessibility and safety for all road users while encouraging frequent turnaround of spaces, which benefits businesses, residents and visitors.
“By enforcing these restrictions we hope to maintain free flow of traffic, encouraging compliance whilst deterring inconsiderate parking.”
City officials have the power to impound cars whose owners have ignored traffic rules, with drivers then forced to shell out at least £180 if they want their vehicles back.
It is understood some of the Bruntsfield van owner’s outstanding fines have been referred to the procurator fiscal, which has imposed additional charges.
Last month, the Evening News revealed the city council has raked in more than £5.3 million in parking penalties over the last year. A total of 180,668 tickets were dished out – around 20 every hour.