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Parking tickets like ‘putting money on a horse’ as council owed almost £3 million

Thursday, January 3, 2013
9:00 AM

Drivers have racked up almost £3 million in unpaid parking fines with more than £150,000 worth on one street alone.

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More than £2,750,000 of fines have gone unpaid, which at £60 a ticket equates to more than 45,800 tickets.

Leader of the council Keith Prince said he was not surprised by the figure and that putting parking tickets on cars was like placing “money on a horse”.

Cllr Prince said: “It’s not surprising really. There’re many reasons why, like false number plates and cars not being registered at the right address. It’s like putting money on the horse but if the bloke takes it and runs away it’s a bit hard.”

Clements Road, Ilford came top of the unpaid ticket parking hotspots with £166,400 worth followed by Station Road, Ilford with £136,000.

Cllr Prince said that many of the offences were by people from outside the borough and a balance had to be struck with how much money was used to try to reclaim unpaid fines.

He said: “It’s a case of diminishing returns, how much do you put in? If you can improve the collection rate that would be a good thing, I will look into the matter. The only thing we could do is to put a wheel clamp on but it’s a bit Draconian.”

Deputy Labour leader Cllr Wes Streeting said that due to budget cuts, the council had been forced to reduce levels of enforcement.

“People are breaking the rules and getting away with it,” Cllr Streeting said. “It puts financial pressure on the council, that’s three million which could be spent on services residents really value like street cleansing.”

A Redbridge Council spokesman said: “The council will vigorously pursue all penalty charge payments in line with the statutory process regulating parking enforcement.”

He also said this includes notices, informal representations, challenging appeals and referral to the Independent Adjudicator before a warrant is issued to bailiffs.

“This process can take on average 12 to 18 months to complete dependent,” he added.

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