City chiefs owed £1.2 million in uncollected parking fines

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A DRIVER has racked up more than 60 unpaid parking fines in the city, worth thousands of pounds – as part of a mega backlog still to be collected.

The Evening News can reveal city chiefs have a 12-year backlog of 20,000 parking fines costing local authority transport bosses more than £1.2 million in lost revenue.

The Capital makes over half a million from fines issued on George Street.

The Capital makes over half a million from fines issued on George Street.

The figures, made available through freedom of information, found drivers in the Capital were shirking up to £100,000 a year in outstanding fees, with one currently avoiding paying a penalty charge notice (PCN) from as far back as June 2006.

Another racked up an astonishing 60 tickets on a vehicle during 2017 alone, forcing the authority to send in sheriff officers to recover a balance of more than £3,000.

One accrued 53 PCNs, with a value of £4,590, and a third had 49 tickets plastered on their windshield leaving road bosses scrambling to recover over £3,400 in fees.

The drivers cannot be named for data protection reasons, but a council source said all three were currently being pursued by the sheriff’s officers.

George Street was revealed as a hot spot for traffic wardens, with fines issued in the popular shopping thoroughfare raising upwards of £520,000 for council coffers.

The request revealed sheriffs are still chasing 22,314 parking fines logged in the current system.

PCNs handed out to drivers carry an automatic £60 charge, reduced to £30 if they pay within 14 days.

However, local authorities can charge up to £90 if the fine still is not paid in time, while sheriff officers will add their own fees for recovery.

Yellow line contraventions and overstaying in parking bays were cited as the most common reasons for penalty notices being handed out.

The top three fines still unpaid from 2016 cover 87 tickets placed on three vehicles in the city centre totalling almost £8,000.

The outstanding amount was reduced in the new year, but a huge unpaid balance remains.

The report comes just days after increased parking charges came into force in Edinburgh’s busy city centre, including a rise of more than eleven per cent in some areas.

Transport and environment convener, councillor Lesley Macinnes, said officers would catch up with drivers who continue to “flout their responsibility”.

She added: “Parking inconsiderately and without adhering to the rules can lead to dangerous situations and cause access difficulties to other road users and residents who are also entitled to space on our streets.”

“To do this repeatedly, without good reason, is selfish and unacceptable and parking restrictions are in place to deter this kind of behaviour.”

She continued: “Drivers who flout their responsibility by not paying for parking fines also face having their vehicle clamped or impounded and any unpaid debts being passed to the sheriff officer for collection.”

newsen@edinburghnews.com