Ashton Road saw 1,088 parking penalties dished out during 2020/21, making it the heaviest-fined highway in the Lancashire County Council area – accounting for more than a fifth of the 5,132 charges levied across the ten most-ticketed routes in the county.
Lancaster also occupied eighth place in that list courtesy of Friar Street, where tickets were splashed on 296 windscreens.
Scroll down for the full list in pictures.
County Hall received a total of £1.89m from parking penalties in 2020/21 – down from £2.35m in the previous 12 months, after the pandemic put a half a million pound dent in the income generated by drivers found disregarding the rules.
Between April 2021 and January 2022, the county council received £1.22m in parking fines – but the final total for 2021/22 is likely to be significantly higher, once yet-to-be-paid tickets are factored in, as well as those issued in February and March.
The data does not include tickets given out in off-street car parks, where enforcement is carried out by district councils or private companies acting on their behalf. The standalone councils of Blackpool and Blackburn with Darwen are responsible for on-street parking enforcement in their own areas – and so are excluded from the county council’s figures.
County Hall took direct control of parking enforcement last September, having outsourced the role to a private company ever since assuming the role from the police in 2004 when parking breaches in the county were decriminalised.
That means street patrols are now part of the county council’s parking operation, which had previously processed tickets and fines, but not dispensed them.
Peter Bell, Lancashire County Council’’s regulation and enforcement manager, told The Gazette that the changes introduced last autumn will enable the authority to react to parking problems more effectively – and he said that there was a simple reason why the rules had to be enforced.
“[It] is to keep traffic flowing freely and ensure that people don’t cause safety problems by parking inappropriately.
“We brought parking services in-house last year, and are still working to embed a number of changes to the way we work to realise the full benefits, however overall it will make our service more responsive and efficient due to working as one team.
“Something we’ve been able to do during the pandemic due to town centre areas being a bit quieter is visit a wider range of locations, and respond to more requests for enforcement from residents across the county. Now we have full control of how our officers are deployed this is something we’re aiming to continue in the future.
“We’ve also begun using new software to manage the service which should allow us to better analyse and respond to parking problems, and will become more useful as we use the new system and populate it with information.
“As part of the county council’s commitment to reduce carbon emissions our service will begin using fully electric vehicles this year, which is another thing we can only do now we’re fully managing the service in-house rather than contracting with a third party,” Mr. Bell added.
WHAT PRICE A PARKING TICKET?
Parking tickets issued by Lancashire County Council are charged at either £70 or £50 – with the penalties halved if they are paid within a fortnight.
The higher rate applies to vehicles parked in an area where parking is prohibited entirely and the lower rate in places where parking is allowed, but the rules have been broken.