Parking has proved a costly business for drivers who have clocked up more than £1.3m in fines in the area in the last six months.
A total of £890,710 in penalties were handed out to 14,956 motorists in Kirklees, with Huddersfield named as the ticketing hotspot in the area with most being given out on one Huddersfield town centre road which is just 350ft long.
However, in Calderdale only 8,789 drivers were charged a total of £449,960. It makes a grand total of £1,340,670.
But the figures, revealed through freedom of information requests, also said that just under a quarter of fines in both areas had not yet been claimed.
Click below to see the Top 10 ticketed streets for Kirklees and Calderdale
Kirklees Council cabinet member Clr Shabir Pandor, defended the fines and said that action had to be taken to stop ‘illegal parking’ and that all money raised would be put into providing public services to help fill the gap left by the ongoing reduction of the council’s budgets by £129m.
“Parking in the wrong place at the wrong time can cause congestion, delays, accidents and inconvenience. It can prevent access for pedestrians and other road users, including emergency vehicles when lives may be at risk. We enforce parking regulations and policies to try to make sure this doesn’t happen.”
Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Economy and Environment, Clr Barry Collins, said: “Money that we gather from parking fines is reinvested in our highways service. It’s used for highway and transportation schemes such as improving parking facilities, maintaining and improving roads, reducing congestion and keeping drivers and pedestrians safe – benefiting the whole community.
Huddersfield’s 350ft-long Cloth Hall Street was the area’s hot spot for parking tickets with a total of 809 issued to unwitting motorists – more than double the amount of fines issued on the second worst hit street in the area, St Peter’s Street.
The figure remains in line with a previous Huddersfield Daily Examiner investigation which revealed that 1,613 fines were handed out in 12 months in 2011 just on Cloth Hall Street.
It said that motorists were confused over road markings, due to one side of the street being pay and display, whilst the other is a 30 minute loading and disabled badge holder area.
Seven out of the 10 most ticketed streets were located in the town’s centre.
Meanwhile, Godfrey Road in Halifax, which is home to Calderdale Royal Hospital, came top of the list in Calderdale after 307 were issued there.
Last October the council placed new restrictions on the road, which turned one side of the road into a permit holders only parking zone while creating a pay and display system on the other.
And 145 were also issued in central Brighouse’s Bethel Street.
The fine amounts were calculated based on the full penalty charge, which is either £70 or £50, rather than if the amount was halved by paying within 14 days.
The news follows a suggestion by the government’s Communities secretary Eric Pickles that local authorities should reduce parking fines and introduce grace periods for motorists.
Batley West Clr Pandor said: “I want to make it clear that all money received through parking fines will be ploughed straight into providing council services, following massive budget cuts that were pushed through by the coalition government. Fines are fair charges aimed to discourage illegal parking and make streets safe for the public.”
The hotspots in Kirklees were:
Cloth Hall Street 809
St Peter’s Street (Huddersfield) 374
Civic Centre car park (Huddersfield) 368
Crackenedge Lane (Dewsbury) 317
Byram Street (Huddersfield) 288
Foundry Street (Dewsbury) 271
New Street (Huddersfield) 239
Corporation Street (Huddersfield) 236
Sports Centre car park (Dewsbury) 219
Sports Centre car park (Huddersfield) 210
The top Calderdale hotspots were:
Godfrey Road (Halifax) 307
North Bridge car park (Halifax) 247
Harrison Road (Halifax) 214
Commercial Street (Halifax) 160
Bull Green car park (Halifax) 156
Bethel Street car park (Brighouse town centre) 146
Princess Street (Halifax) 139
High Street car park (Halifax) 129
Blackwall (Halifax) 120
Clare Road (Halifax) 120
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