Thousands of Norwich parking fines cancelled

New figures have revealed how more than 3,700 parking fines issued in Norwich were cancelled. New figures have revealed how more than 3,700 parking fines issued in Norwich were cancelled.

Monday, August 25, 2014
6:30 AM

More than 3,700 parking tickets in Norwich were cancelled last year, new figures have revealed, but council bosses still pulled in more than £760,000 from the fines which were paid.

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And almost 200 drivers of foreign-registered vehicles got away without paying their fines, because there is no way to trace them.

Between April last year and March this year Norwich City Council issued more than 25,000 penalty charge notices to drivers who flouted parking rules.

The council issues penalty charge notices to drivers who park in its pay and display car parks without proper tickets, to those who park in areas of permit parking without a permit and to those who unlawfully park in car parks set aside for council tenants.

The costs, of £70 or £50 depending on the seriousness of the contravention is cut by 50pc if paid within two weeks, but 3,774 drivers had their tickets written off.

Council officers said the main reason for tickets being cancelled was that there was a lack of information available from the DVLA to enable them to catch those hit with tickets. That was the case with 183 foreign-registered vehicles.

Other reasons were because the owners of the vehicles did turn out to have valid tickets or permits, or because they were blue badge holders.

Waiving tickets cost the city council more than £180,000, but the 19,812 which were paid generated just over £760,000 for the authority. The council is still trying to recover money in a further 1,474 cases.

The council said the money raised from tickets issued for on-street infringements went to the running of the enforcement service, including staff, equipment, office accommodation and vehicles, with any surplus paid to the county council.

Money raised from off-street car parking fines also helps run the service, the council said, but any surplus there goes to Norwich City Council’s general revenue account to support other services.

A spokeswoman for Norwich City Council said: “We make every effort to enable people to pay their fines before resorting to final measures, such as enforcement agencies.

“We follow a procedure to recover any unpaid penalty charge notices and only after exhausting all the options to pursue the fine will a penalty charge notice be written off.”

The average nationally is 75pc paid and 25pc waived. Norwich City Council’s collection rate is slightly above the average at 78.5pc.

The Local Government Association (LGA), which represents councils, recently called on the government to do more to make sure vehicles registered outside the UK did not get away without paying fines.

The government does not routinely keep a record of the estimated three million such vehicles entering the UK each year and the DVLA only records information about them through offence reports provided by the police or from tip-offs from the public.

The LGA said that leaves councils facing an “impossible task” to chase those who flout parking rules and has urged the government to get tougher.

Peter Box, chairman of the LGA’s economy and transport board, said: “Drivers of foreign-registered vehicles need to realise they are not above the law in this country.

“Too many are blatantly disregarding thousands of fines for parking every year in this country which is hugely unfair to drivers of British cars who have to pay up if they break the law.

“Reckless and inconsiderate parking by non-UK registered vehicles puts other drivers and pedestrians at risk. The millions of pounds worth of fines written off could also be spent filling potholes, providing bus services and tackling the £12bn repair backlog to bring our roads up to scratch.

“Introducing a central database would allow the government to get tougher on people failing to register their vehicle. A crackdown on those trying to cheat the system would see a greater number registered to UK addresses and councils finally able chase payment of some of these outstanding parking fines.”

• What’s your view? Write, giving full contact details, to Letters Editor, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE.

10 comments

  • Foreigners walking all over us and no one does anything about it. Norfolk John is right. It adds up to a lose anyway.

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    sharky

    Friday, August 29, 2014

  • If you get a ticket in France and fail to pay it, they can use vehicle registration recognition to catch you as you leave the country, or request your details and chase you in the UK. Why don't we do this?

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    Andy T

    Tuesday, August 26, 2014

  • Alecto is 100% correct. There was a court case last year on this issue which the council concerned lost. All net revenue from car park fees and fines must be spent on transport issues and not used as general council revenue. Not only are they 'keeping' fines for gerenal revenue, the same applies to car park fees which was last reported ti be £m's in surplus. Time to bring the council in line with the law!

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    andy

    Monday, August 25, 2014

  • Income £760,000 but no report on how much the costs were in collecting this amount - staff on the streets, ticket machines, consumables, back room staff and employers costs ..... Answer a thumping great loss! It would be much cheaper to allow free parking in all council carparks and in bays on the streets, whilst at the sametime improving the economy of Norwich.

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    Norfolk John

    Monday, August 25, 2014

  • trev57 is correct. There are just as many British 'foreigners' doing exactly the same all over Europe. No MOT, no insurance, no road tax. The Spanish have the right idea. Cars parked 'illegally' are removed very carefully by the police. Well photographed, hoisted on to a tow truck and removed to a council pound. You return to where you left your car only to find a large sticky label on the ground giving your car registration number and details of how to pay your fine and get your car back. And of course if it's an 'illegal' car your woes have only just begun! If car is not collected, it's crushed. Simple!

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    duck1

    Monday, August 25, 2014

  • Councils are not allowed to use parking tickets as a revenue raising exercise. If they have made a huge profit they will have to return it.

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    alecto

    Monday, August 25, 2014

  • Why not publish the list, this editorial will do along with others, and let the people find them! (you wont find them all but something is better than nothing. they have to live somewhere close by) issue a small reward too the finders and you may well get a little something out of it. foreign registered car drivers know they cant be found in this country and are taking full advantage of it!

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    patrick

    Monday, August 25, 2014

  • Its not a deterant its just a way of raising more revenue,how can you justify a £50 fine for not buying a 50p ticket and British drivers park all over the place when driving in Europe

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    trev57

    Monday, August 25, 2014

  • it seems the good old honest driver get caught everytime, while the authorities just ignore the foreigners, and the DVLA failing to keep up to date

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    Derek McDonald

    Monday, August 25, 2014

  • I thought foreigners were improving our economy or so I was told by politicians,how strange

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    PaulH

    Monday, August 25, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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