Car parking in spotlight

Swindon Advertiser: Kimmerfields car park Kimmerfields car park

SWINDON Council’s cabinet member for transport, councillor Keith Williams, has defended a £3m parking fine surplus as the Government suggested cutting the level of fines.

He was speaking after the Government said yesterdayit was looking at ways of cutting parking fines to stop councils using them as ‘cash cows’.

This includes reducing the minimum amount of a fixed penalty charge, which currently stands at £40 and allowing five minutes extra if someone overuns the allocated time.

The Commons Transport Committee said it was hard to justify parking fines that are bigger than fines for more serious offences like speeding.

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin has frozen the maximum parking fines councils can impose.

Coun Williams said although Swindon had made a surplus of almost £3 million on parking levies last year the main problem is in big cities where some councils raise £10 million from parking penalties.

Over the past three years there has been an drop in the number of tickets given out in Swindon. In 2010/11 28,840 tickets were handed out but this fell to 24,645 in 2012/13.

Cash from parking fees goes to road improvement projects.

Coun Williams (Con, Shaw) said: “I think these proposals are mainly aimed at the big cities, which raise huge amounts and use parking fines as a way of balancing the budget.

“We do have a surplus but that is used on road projects and not elsewhere in the council.

“It is important that common sense is applied where necessary and we don’t become too heavy handed with drivers.

“For example, if an elderly lady was dropping off items at a charity shop and she over-ran by a few minutes then the parking attendant should use his discretion.

“I hope people see this is the approach we take.”

Swindon Advertiser:

Coun Keith Williams

Coun Williams says this approach is the best way of dealing with parking issues without creating problems for others.

He said: “The important thing is about finding a balance between helping business and making sure residents who live in the town centre are able to park close to their homes.

“We want to encourage people to come into the town but without creating a free-for-all. With the opening of the new car park Swindon has very good parking provision.”

Comments (21)

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6:33am Tue 14 Jan 14

swindondad says...

Rules are rules and as long as they are clearly posted and applied fairly I for one have no problem with the council using the excess money from parking fines to cover the cost of road project costs.

It is not as if there is a shortage of car parks in Swindon town centre.
Rules are rules and as long as they are clearly posted and applied fairly I for one have no problem with the council using the excess money from parking fines to cover the cost of road project costs. It is not as if there is a shortage of car parks in Swindon town centre. swindondad

7:54am Tue 14 Jan 14

ChannelX says...


Cash from parking fees goes to road improvement projects.


Hands up who believes that?

Parking regulations, times and zones are a complete mess around the centre of town and Old Town and even visitors to the town remark that they can only be allowed to remain as such in order to deliberately make life difficult for people and result in excess tickets issued.

And that's before we discuss the fact that a large percentage of double-yellow lines aren't necessary and the 'permitted' parking times for 1-hour bays and single-yellow lines are also completely ridiculous, inconvenient and largely pointless in most cases.
[quote] Cash from parking fees goes to road improvement projects. [/quote] Hands up who believes that? Parking regulations, times and zones are a complete mess around the centre of town and Old Town and even visitors to the town remark that they can only be allowed to remain as such in order to deliberately make life difficult for people and result in excess tickets issued. And that's before we discuss the fact that a large percentage of double-yellow lines aren't necessary and the 'permitted' parking times for 1-hour bays and single-yellow lines are also completely ridiculous, inconvenient and largely pointless in most cases. ChannelX

8:24am Tue 14 Jan 14

swindondad says...

Even if the £3 million goes into general council accounts as a local tax payer I am OK with that.

Think about it, if you can agree on £3 million worth of savings or another more popular way to raise £3 million I am sure we would all love to hear.
Even if the £3 million goes into general council accounts as a local tax payer I am OK with that. Think about it, if you can agree on £3 million worth of savings or another more popular way to raise £3 million I am sure we would all love to hear. swindondad

8:28am Tue 14 Jan 14

ChannelX says...

swindondad wrote:
Even if the £3 million goes into general council accounts as a local tax payer I am OK with that.

Think about it, if you can agree on £3 million worth of savings or another more popular way to raise £3 million I am sure we would all love to hear.
It's very telling that people can't even comprehend the idea that people's hard earned money simply remains in their own pockets, rather than somehow *having* to be taken by the council/government.
[quote][p][bold]swindondad[/bold] wrote: Even if the £3 million goes into general council accounts as a local tax payer I am OK with that. Think about it, if you can agree on £3 million worth of savings or another more popular way to raise £3 million I am sure we would all love to hear.[/p][/quote]It's very telling that people can't even comprehend the idea that people's hard earned money simply remains in their own pockets, rather than somehow *having* to be taken by the council/government. ChannelX

8:34am Tue 14 Jan 14

swindondad says...

ChannelX wrote:
swindondad wrote: Even if the £3 million goes into general council accounts as a local tax payer I am OK with that. Think about it, if you can agree on £3 million worth of savings or another more popular way to raise £3 million I am sure we would all love to hear.
It's very telling that people can't even comprehend the idea that people's hard earned money simply remains in their own pockets, rather than somehow *having* to be taken by the council/government.
You are (deliberately?) missing the point.

This £3 million comes from the fines and charges that people pay for (in the case of fines) "breaking the law". I would have thought that you off all posters would be please to see "criminals" paying for council services.
[quote][p][bold]ChannelX[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]swindondad[/bold] wrote: Even if the £3 million goes into general council accounts as a local tax payer I am OK with that. Think about it, if you can agree on £3 million worth of savings or another more popular way to raise £3 million I am sure we would all love to hear.[/p][/quote]It's very telling that people can't even comprehend the idea that people's hard earned money simply remains in their own pockets, rather than somehow *having* to be taken by the council/government.[/p][/quote]You are (deliberately?) missing the point. This £3 million comes from the fines and charges that people pay for (in the case of fines) "breaking the law". I would have thought that you off all posters would be please to see "criminals" paying for council services. swindondad

8:40am Tue 14 Jan 14

ChannelX says...

swindondad wrote:
ChannelX wrote:
swindondad wrote: Even if the £3 million goes into general council accounts as a local tax payer I am OK with that. Think about it, if you can agree on £3 million worth of savings or another more popular way to raise £3 million I am sure we would all love to hear.
It's very telling that people can't even comprehend the idea that people's hard earned money simply remains in their own pockets, rather than somehow *having* to be taken by the council/government.
You are (deliberately?) missing the point.

This £3 million comes from the fines and charges that people pay for (in the case of fines) "breaking the law". I would have thought that you off all posters would be please to see "criminals" paying for council services.
Yes, and even the government is saying that it is wrong - and that these 'fines' for such heinous 'law breaking' should be reduced.

If even the government are saying that, don't you think things might not be quite right in the world of parking fines?
[quote][p][bold]swindondad[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]ChannelX[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]swindondad[/bold] wrote: Even if the £3 million goes into general council accounts as a local tax payer I am OK with that. Think about it, if you can agree on £3 million worth of savings or another more popular way to raise £3 million I am sure we would all love to hear.[/p][/quote]It's very telling that people can't even comprehend the idea that people's hard earned money simply remains in their own pockets, rather than somehow *having* to be taken by the council/government.[/p][/quote]You are (deliberately?) missing the point. This £3 million comes from the fines and charges that people pay for (in the case of fines) "breaking the law". I would have thought that you off all posters would be please to see "criminals" paying for council services.[/p][/quote]Yes, and even the government is saying that it is wrong - and that these 'fines' for such heinous 'law breaking' should be reduced. If even the government are saying that, don't you think things might not be quite right in the world of parking fines? ChannelX

8:44am Tue 14 Jan 14

ChannelX says...

The vast majority of parking tickets - especially those issued by council employees - are PCNs in any case, so are a civil, rather than criminal, matter.

There is also a vast difference between most parking tickets and actual criminality. If a single-yellow line 'ends' at 8.30am and you don't happen to leave work until 8.45am, you may receive a ticket... on a car that was perfectly properly parked 15 minutes ago and yet has not moved anywhere.

Stealing, assaulting people and all the other myriad criminal offences that, ironically, usually go completely unpunished in our courts, are not OK one minute but not OK the next.
The vast majority of parking tickets - especially those issued by council employees - are PCNs in any case, so are a civil, rather than criminal, matter. There is also a vast difference between most parking tickets and actual criminality. If a single-yellow line 'ends' at 8.30am and you don't happen to leave work until 8.45am, you may receive a ticket... on a car that was perfectly properly parked 15 minutes ago and yet has not moved anywhere. Stealing, assaulting people and all the other myriad criminal offences that, ironically, usually go completely unpunished in our courts, are not OK one minute but not OK the next. ChannelX

8:54am Tue 14 Jan 14

swindondad says...

If the central government truly believed that the level of fines was too high they would have reduced not capped them.

BTW The motorist has always been seen as a "soft target" when it comes to raising revenue (in the same way as smokers and drinkers) and they will continue to be. IMHO future governments (of whatever colour) will be adding the "fast food" and "sugary drinks" users to their list of "cash cows".
If the central government truly believed that the level of fines was too high they would have reduced not capped them. BTW The motorist has always been seen as a "soft target" when it comes to raising revenue (in the same way as smokers and drinkers) and they will continue to be. IMHO future governments (of whatever colour) will be adding the "fast food" and "sugary drinks" users to their list of "cash cows". swindondad

8:58am Tue 14 Jan 14

ChannelX says...

swindondad wrote:
If the central government truly believed that the level of fines was too high they would have reduced not capped them.

BTW The motorist has always been seen as a "soft target" when it comes to raising revenue (in the same way as smokers and drinkers) and they will continue to be. IMHO future governments (of whatever colour) will be adding the "fast food" and "sugary drinks" users to their list of "cash cows".
Er, that's the whole point, the government are looking at cutting the amount people are forced to pay for a parking ticket.
[quote][p][bold]swindondad[/bold] wrote: If the central government truly believed that the level of fines was too high they would have reduced not capped them. BTW The motorist has always been seen as a "soft target" when it comes to raising revenue (in the same way as smokers and drinkers) and they will continue to be. IMHO future governments (of whatever colour) will be adding the "fast food" and "sugary drinks" users to their list of "cash cows".[/p][/quote]Er, that's the whole point, the government are looking at cutting the amount people are forced to pay for a parking ticket. ChannelX

9:04am Tue 14 Jan 14

mjey says...

"Cash from parking fees goes to road improvement projects"
- the best joke ever.
What kind of road improvement did you do in last 10 years?????
"Cash from parking fees goes to road improvement projects" - the best joke ever. What kind of road improvement did you do in last 10 years????? mjey

9:17am Tue 14 Jan 14

swindondad says...

ChannelX, you need to read carefully what is writen,

" councillor Keith Williams.....the Government said yesterday it was looking at ways of cutting parking fines"

but what actualy happen?

"Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin has frozen the maximum parking fines councils can impose."

As I said in my post above "If the central government truly believed that the level of fines was too high they would have reduced not capped them".
ChannelX, you need to read carefully what is writen, " councillor Keith Williams.....the Government said yesterday it was looking at ways of cutting parking fines" but what actualy happen? "Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin has frozen the maximum parking fines councils can impose." As I said in my post above "If the central government truly believed that the level of fines was too high they would have reduced not capped them". swindondad

9:23am Tue 14 Jan 14

ChannelX says...

swindondad wrote:
ChannelX, you need to read carefully what is writen,

" councillor Keith Williams.....the Government said yesterday it was looking at ways of cutting parking fines"

but what actualy happen?

"Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin has frozen the maximum parking fines councils can impose."

As I said in my post above "If the central government truly believed that the level of fines was too high they would have reduced not capped them".
Yes, they've capped them as an interim measure until the reduction has been decided and then announced.

The Tories know full well it'll be a massive vote winner, so it will happen.
[quote][p][bold]swindondad[/bold] wrote: ChannelX, you need to read carefully what is writen, " councillor Keith Williams.....the Government said yesterday it was looking at ways of cutting parking fines" but what actualy happen? "Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin has frozen the maximum parking fines councils can impose." As I said in my post above "If the central government truly believed that the level of fines was too high they would have reduced not capped them".[/p][/quote]Yes, they've capped them as an interim measure until the reduction has been decided and then announced. The Tories know full well it'll be a massive vote winner, so it will happen. ChannelX

10:08am Tue 14 Jan 14

The Artist formally known as Grumpy Old Man says...

ChannelX wrote:
swindondad wrote:
ChannelX, you need to read carefully what is writen,

" councillor Keith Williams.....the Government said yesterday it was looking at ways of cutting parking fines"

but what actualy happen?

"Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin has frozen the maximum parking fines councils can impose."

As I said in my post above "If the central government truly believed that the level of fines was too high they would have reduced not capped them".
Yes, they've capped them as an interim measure until the reduction has been decided and then announced.

The Tories know full well it'll be a massive vote winner, so it will happen.
Won't be a vote winner with me. As long as parking restrictions are clearly marked I see no reason not to increase parking fines, it's not difficult to park legally.

What I would like to see is more effort to fine those that actually cause a nuisance with their parking though - for instance, those on Manchester Road and Commercial Road, that seem to think the rules do not apply to them.
[quote][p][bold]ChannelX[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]swindondad[/bold] wrote: ChannelX, you need to read carefully what is writen, " councillor Keith Williams.....the Government said yesterday it was looking at ways of cutting parking fines" but what actualy happen? "Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin has frozen the maximum parking fines councils can impose." As I said in my post above "If the central government truly believed that the level of fines was too high they would have reduced not capped them".[/p][/quote]Yes, they've capped them as an interim measure until the reduction has been decided and then announced. The Tories know full well it'll be a massive vote winner, so it will happen.[/p][/quote]Won't be a vote winner with me. As long as parking restrictions are clearly marked I see no reason not to increase parking fines, it's not difficult to park legally. What I would like to see is more effort to fine those that actually cause a nuisance with their parking though - for instance, those on Manchester Road and Commercial Road, that seem to think the rules do not apply to them. The Artist formally known as Grumpy Old Man

10:36am Tue 14 Jan 14

GroundhogDay says...

I have no problem with parking fines. It's not hard to park legally. I've had a few parking tickets over the years and although frustrating it was always my fault for leaving my car somewhere too long.

I actually wish the council would slap more tickets on cars who's owners seem to think parking on double yellows is acceptable. It's becoming more frequent. Any trip up Commercial Road highlights this issue. Cars all over pavements, and yellow lines which is hazardous to other road users and pedestrians.

Slap tickets on them and spend the money on improving the whole street. It's an eysore!
I have no problem with parking fines. It's not hard to park legally. I've had a few parking tickets over the years and although frustrating it was always my fault for leaving my car somewhere too long. I actually wish the council would slap more tickets on cars who's owners seem to think parking on double yellows is acceptable. It's becoming more frequent. Any trip up Commercial Road highlights this issue. Cars all over pavements, and yellow lines which is hazardous to other road users and pedestrians. Slap tickets on them and spend the money on improving the whole street. It's an eysore! GroundhogDay

11:46am Tue 14 Jan 14

swindondad says...

ChannelX,

We will have to wait and see what central government "might" do at some as yet un stated point in the future.

BTW I "looked at" vegetarian options for Sunday lunch but we still ate roast beef.
ChannelX, We will have to wait and see what central government "might" do at some as yet un stated point in the future. BTW I "looked at" vegetarian options for Sunday lunch but we still ate roast beef. swindondad

1:27pm Tue 14 Jan 14

Davey Gravey says...

GroundhogDay wrote:
I have no problem with parking fines. It's not hard to park legally. I've had a few parking tickets over the years and although frustrating it was always my fault for leaving my car somewhere too long.

I actually wish the council would slap more tickets on cars who's owners seem to think parking on double yellows is acceptable. It's becoming more frequent. Any trip up Commercial Road highlights this issue. Cars all over pavements, and yellow lines which is hazardous to other road users and pedestrians.

Slap tickets on them and spend the money on improving the whole street. It's an eysore!
I agree. If you park properly you don't get a ticket.
I'd also like to see those who park over grass verges, ruining them, ticketed.
[quote][p][bold]GroundhogDay[/bold] wrote: I have no problem with parking fines. It's not hard to park legally. I've had a few parking tickets over the years and although frustrating it was always my fault for leaving my car somewhere too long. I actually wish the council would slap more tickets on cars who's owners seem to think parking on double yellows is acceptable. It's becoming more frequent. Any trip up Commercial Road highlights this issue. Cars all over pavements, and yellow lines which is hazardous to other road users and pedestrians. Slap tickets on them and spend the money on improving the whole street. It's an eysore![/p][/quote]I agree. If you park properly you don't get a ticket. I'd also like to see those who park over grass verges, ruining them, ticketed. Davey Gravey

1:34pm Tue 14 Jan 14

house on the hill says...

ChannelX wrote:
swindondad wrote:
ChannelX, you need to read carefully what is writen,

" councillor Keith Williams.....the Government said yesterday it was looking at ways of cutting parking fines"

but what actualy happen?

"Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin has frozen the maximum parking fines councils can impose."

As I said in my post above "If the central government truly believed that the level of fines was too high they would have reduced not capped them".
Yes, they've capped them as an interim measure until the reduction has been decided and then announced.

The Tories know full well it'll be a massive vote winner, so it will happen.
If something which in the big scheme of things is pretty unimportant is seen as something that will sway voters that that says more about the intelligence of the voters than the Govt. Are you saying people are really so stupid and idiotic that parking fines would decide their vote? No wonder the place is in such a mess then!
[quote][p][bold]ChannelX[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]swindondad[/bold] wrote: ChannelX, you need to read carefully what is writen, " councillor Keith Williams.....the Government said yesterday it was looking at ways of cutting parking fines" but what actualy happen? "Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin has frozen the maximum parking fines councils can impose." As I said in my post above "If the central government truly believed that the level of fines was too high they would have reduced not capped them".[/p][/quote]Yes, they've capped them as an interim measure until the reduction has been decided and then announced. The Tories know full well it'll be a massive vote winner, so it will happen.[/p][/quote]If something which in the big scheme of things is pretty unimportant is seen as something that will sway voters that that says more about the intelligence of the voters than the Govt. Are you saying people are really so stupid and idiotic that parking fines would decide their vote? No wonder the place is in such a mess then! house on the hill

5:08pm Tue 14 Jan 14

ChannelX says...

house on the hill wrote:
ChannelX wrote:
swindondad wrote:
ChannelX, you need to read carefully what is writen,

" councillor Keith Williams.....the Government said yesterday it was looking at ways of cutting parking fines"

but what actualy happen?

"Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin has frozen the maximum parking fines councils can impose."

As I said in my post above "If the central government truly believed that the level of fines was too high they would have reduced not capped them".
Yes, they've capped them as an interim measure until the reduction has been decided and then announced.

The Tories know full well it'll be a massive vote winner, so it will happen.
If something which in the big scheme of things is pretty unimportant is seen as something that will sway voters that that says more about the intelligence of the voters than the Govt. Are you saying people are really so stupid and idiotic that parking fines would decide their vote? No wonder the place is in such a mess then!
Anything where people feel they are being treated more fairly is going to be a vote winner.

Park in one bay for 5mins too long - affect absolutely nobody and nothing - and yet receive a £50 fine... go out in town one night and beat someone up and probably just receive a 'caution', ie, no fine and no actual punishment whatsoever.

Hardly seems fair, does it?
[quote][p][bold]house on the hill[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]ChannelX[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]swindondad[/bold] wrote: ChannelX, you need to read carefully what is writen, " councillor Keith Williams.....the Government said yesterday it was looking at ways of cutting parking fines" but what actualy happen? "Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin has frozen the maximum parking fines councils can impose." As I said in my post above "If the central government truly believed that the level of fines was too high they would have reduced not capped them".[/p][/quote]Yes, they've capped them as an interim measure until the reduction has been decided and then announced. The Tories know full well it'll be a massive vote winner, so it will happen.[/p][/quote]If something which in the big scheme of things is pretty unimportant is seen as something that will sway voters that that says more about the intelligence of the voters than the Govt. Are you saying people are really so stupid and idiotic that parking fines would decide their vote? No wonder the place is in such a mess then![/p][/quote]Anything where people feel they are being treated more fairly is going to be a vote winner. Park in one bay for 5mins too long - affect absolutely nobody and nothing - and yet receive a £50 fine... go out in town one night and beat someone up and probably just receive a 'caution', ie, no fine and no actual punishment whatsoever. Hardly seems fair, does it? ChannelX

7:46pm Tue 14 Jan 14

MrAngry says...

There is a big difference between deliberately parking on double yellow lines and accidently over staying in a pay and display for five minutes, but the two cases are treated the same. It easy to get stuck in a queue at the bank for longer than expected, which is the reason I prefer the pay on exit car parks to pay and display.

In the case of pay and display, it seems unfair that machines don't give change. If a ticket costs £1.80 and you only have £2, there is no change. If the machines can't give change, then why not give you the extra minutes on the ticket. In this computerised age it shouldn't be difficult to do.
There is a big difference between deliberately parking on double yellow lines and accidently over staying in a pay and display for five minutes, but the two cases are treated the same. It easy to get stuck in a queue at the bank for longer than expected, which is the reason I prefer the pay on exit car parks to pay and display. In the case of pay and display, it seems unfair that machines don't give change. If a ticket costs £1.80 and you only have £2, there is no change. If the machines can't give change, then why not give you the extra minutes on the ticket. In this computerised age it shouldn't be difficult to do. MrAngry

9:08am Wed 15 Jan 14

ChannelX says...

MrAngry wrote:
There is a big difference between deliberately parking on double yellow lines and accidently over staying in a pay and display for five minutes, but the two cases are treated the same. It easy to get stuck in a queue at the bank for longer than expected, which is the reason I prefer the pay on exit car parks to pay and display.

In the case of pay and display, it seems unfair that machines don't give change. If a ticket costs £1.80 and you only have £2, there is no change. If the machines can't give change, then why not give you the extra minutes on the ticket. In this computerised age it shouldn't be difficult to do.
You've put together the 2 and the 2, but it seems you're finding it hard to get the 4.

There's a reason machines don't give change and there's a reason they don't us pay on exit machines.

Hint: it's not to assist you in parking 'correctly'.
[quote][p][bold]MrAngry[/bold] wrote: There is a big difference between deliberately parking on double yellow lines and accidently over staying in a pay and display for five minutes, but the two cases are treated the same. It easy to get stuck in a queue at the bank for longer than expected, which is the reason I prefer the pay on exit car parks to pay and display. In the case of pay and display, it seems unfair that machines don't give change. If a ticket costs £1.80 and you only have £2, there is no change. If the machines can't give change, then why not give you the extra minutes on the ticket. In this computerised age it shouldn't be difficult to do.[/p][/quote]You've put together the 2 and the 2, but it seems you're finding it hard to get the 4. There's a reason machines don't give change and there's a reason they don't us pay on exit machines. Hint: it's not to assist you in parking 'correctly'. ChannelX

8:44pm Fri 17 Jan 14

John Smith II says...

It's all very simple - don't break the rules and you won't pay a fine...

Choose to take a chance and you might pay a fine...

Even a moderate idiot could grasp that, couldn't they?
It's all very simple - don't break the rules and you won't pay a fine... Choose to take a chance and you might pay a fine... Even a moderate idiot could grasp that, couldn't they? John Smith II

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