Midlothian parking wardens hand out 23 tickets a day on average in first 8 months

A TRIO of parking wardens introduced in Midlothian in April last year had issued nearly 5,500 parking fines by the end of the year.

Tuesday, 9th July 2019, 7:35 pm
Dalkeith town centre. Pic: Ian Georgeson.
Dalkeith town centre. Pic: Ian Georgeson.

The local authority raked in just over £133,000 in income from the new penalties in their first eight months.

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Officials at Midlothian expect the income generated from their parking notices to increase in the following years as the initial set-up and administration costs come down.

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Dalkeith town centre. Pic: Ian Georgeson.

In Stirling, where the fines were introduced in May 2017, they saw the income more than double in its second year from £144,491 in 2017 to £388,820 in 2018.

The figures were revealed in a report by comparison website Confused.com. But they are openly published on Midlothian Council’s website where a monthly update is given and is available to the public.

A survey by the website revealed nearly three out of four motorists who challenge their fines are successful, paying less or nothing, but two-thirds do not appeal.

It has created a checklist for motorists who want to appeal after finding nearly half of all drivers in the UK have at one point been issued with a parking ticket.

Confused.com said many motorists cited confusing information about how to appeal and claims the process is difficult as reasons many were put off challenging.

Figures revealed in May under Freedom of Information laws showed Edinburgh’s parking wardens alone raised more than £5.9 million last year, with Glasgow the second highest in terms of fine income at just over £5m.

Midlothian Council introduced decriminalised parking last year, with three private parking wardens sent out onto the streets to patrol and slap penalty notice on the windscreens of offending vehicles.

Fines are £60 and can rise to £90 if not paid within 14 days. Failure or refusal to pay can eventually lead to a court appearance.

Amanda Stretton, motoring editor at Confused.com, said there were concerns about the high number of appeals which are successful across the UK, where local authorities last year took income of £326 from penalty notices.

She said: “We’re helping people fight unfair fines and navigate through the chaotic appeal process.

“Our challenge checklist should help motorists decide whether to appeal a fine. With the cost of motoring ever increasing, we shouldn’t be forking out even more money to pay unfair fines.”