These are Edinburgh's top ten streets for parking fines which raised more than £1million for Edinburgh council
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Over 10,000 fines were handed out in the busy New Town street, placing it at the top of the league for parking tickets in the Capital.
Altogether the ten streets in the city which saw the most fixed penalty notices for parking offences netted more than £1 million.
St Andrew Square, at the eastern end of George Street, was second in the table with 2,589 tickets issued, bringing in £126,350; and Charlotte Square, at the other end of George Street, was third with 2,089 tickets, bringing in £90,870. Nearby Queen Street was fourth.
But Arboretum Place in Inverleith took fifth place, one of the few streets outside the city centre to feature in the top ten. Tory group leader Iain Whyte said it was because different parking rules applied on either side of the street.
“One side has long-stay parking bays and the other side has short-stay, but people don't always realise that and if the nearest machine is across the road, they often just go across and pay there and then find they get a ticket for being in the wrong bay,” he said.
"It' a very confusing system and think it's unfair, particularly on visitors. Because the Botanics are there, people come from all around Scotland. I'd like to see it rationalised, so it makes more sense. The number of tickets there seems to be out of proportion with other places.”
George Street has topped the table in previous years as well, but the council’s plans to revamp the street, banning cars and buses, will mean a dramatic drop in revenue from parking – and parking fines.
Cllr Whyte said: “It’s a big issue for the council. The potential loss of income there is huge. The council has to come up with a plan to cover that.”
Lib Dem group leader Kevin Lang said: "These are eye-watering sums of money being raised from parking fines. It is important there is the strongest possible enforcement against illegal or improper parking. However, the huge amount of money being generated from fines risks this being seen as some cash cow to help make up for diminishing council coffers. The pedestrianisation of George Street shows how wrong it would be for the council to rely on money from parking fines in future."
Transport convener Scott Arthur said: "We use fines to discourage bad behaviour, so it’s wrong to view fines as an income source. It’s about trying to improve driver behaviour. At the moment in George Street it’s cheaper to accept a fine than it is to pay for parking, so we’re actively trying to get the Scottish Government to review the fine structures to deal with that.
"We have a programme of improvements for the city centre, which is about supporting the economy and a more pleasant place to be and those benefits will outweigh any loss of parking income.”
On Arboretum Place, Cllr Arthur he said if ward councillors had specific issues about parking arrangements and could reach a consensus, he was happy to speak to them.
Edinburgh’s top ten streets for parking tickets
George Street – 10,262 tickets – £461,738.00St Andrew Square – 2,589 tickets – £126,350.00Charlotte Square – 2,089 tickets – £90,870.00Queen Street – 1,858 tickets – £85,730.00Arboretum Place – 1,838 tickets – £77,190.00Chambers Street – 1,818 tickets – £84,190.00Bruntsfield Place – 1,481 tickets – £60,690.00Market Street – 1,343 tickets – £61,350.00Chalmers Street – 1,310 tickets – £60,270.00East Market Street – 1,265 tickets – £55,230.00