Eyes on parking cash shortfall

SHAUN LOWTHORPE Transport chiefs want to keep a closer financial eye on the running of Norwich's on-street parking system following a £300,000 shortfall in income from fines.

SHAUN LOWTHORPE

Transport chiefs want to keep a closer financial eye on the running of Norwich's on-street parking system following a £300,000 shortfall in income from fines.

Road schemes in and around the city could be delayed after parking income for the last financial year fell to about £111,000 - well short of the predicted £400,000 surplus.

City Hall runs the decriminalised parking scheme under delegated powers from Norfolk County Council.

A report to be considered by members of the joint highways agency committee next week shows that most of the shortfall was caused by a 22pc drop in fines issued, with 7,400 fewer tickets handed out.

That £194,000 shortfall includes the cancellation of 4,300 tickets following a legal challenge because of incorrect wording.

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A serious of road closures and regeneration works saw a £45,000 drop because of fewer parking spaces being available, and there was also a drop in the number of parking permits issued.

Costs for running the scheme had also increased by £29,000 and there are also question marks about the time parking enforcement officers are spending on handing out tickets compared to other duties such as looking out for anti-social behaviour.

But a large part of the shortfall including the effect of competition and security alerts at Norwich Airport cannot be calculated.

The report says that “future allocations should be considered more closely and approved by the county to ensure they are appropriate”.

“The timeliness of the statements submitted by the city to the county should be considered more closely and monitored by the county with significant exceptions being reported to the committee,” it added.

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