THE Examiner can today reveal the Huddersfield roads named as Kirklees Council’s top cash generators.
Our town’s top five parking fine hotspots are St Peter’s Street, Byram Street, New Street and Corporation Street – all in Huddersfield town centre – and Acre Street in Lindley which runs alongside Huddersfield Royal Infirmary.
They accounted for a total of more than 2,600 parking tickets and more than £150,000 in fines last year alone.
For the second year running, St Peter’s Street led the way, clocking up 764 tickets and nearly £40,000-worth of fines.
Those figures were up 46% on 2009, when 523 tickets were dished out on the street, resulting in a £34,380 haul for Kirklees Council.
In the last financial year the council raked in a total of £724,400 from parking fines.
That was down slightly from £741,200 for 2008-09 and significantly lower than the £896,500 collected in 2007-08.
A council spokesman said: "Parking enforcement aims to meet the needs of many people – residents and their visitors, businesses for deliveries and customers, access for pedestrians, cyclists, public transport and disabled users."
Drivers face fines of up to £70 for a range of offences, including displaying an expired ticket, failing to display a ticket correctly, parking on double yellow lines or using a permit-only space without a permit.
Parking for longer than permitted, using a disabled bay without a badge, stopping on a restricted area outside a school, parking in a cycle lane and failing to park inside bay markings are also punishable offences.
The spokesman said parking enforcement was self-financing and so fines paid for civil enforcement officers and the costs of processing fines.
He added: "After these costs have been absorbed, if there is any money left over which has been raised from parking fines or from the sale of residents’ parking permits, it is ring-fenced by law and has to be transferred to a protected account to be spent on specific types of projects primarily for highways and parking improvements."
Money raised from off-street parking – fines and pay and display machines – is not ring-fenced and can be used for any council purpose.
Parking law expert Neil Herron, director of www.parkingappeals. co.uk, said councils had a duty to make the rules clear.
He said: "The council has a duty to manage traffic on the highway, but if any area is producing lots of contraventions, it must flag up that there is something wrong with the information being imparted to motorists.
"People don’t like getting fined and might be committing acts they are unaware are wrong.
"Signage must be appropriate otherwise these areas can be perceived as a cash cow for councils."
Huddersfield’s parking fine hotspots were revealed as it was announced that around half of appeals against parking tickets last year were successful nationwide.
A total of 47% of those who appealed against on-street penalty charge notices (PCNs) in England in 2009-10 had their tickets cancelled or waived.
Nearly 60% who challenged off-street PCNs were successful, the Department for Transport figures showed.
The figures showed there were 1.84million challenges to on-street PCNs in 2009-10 compared with 1.86million in 2008-09, while off-street challenges rose from 450,000 to 500,000.
1. St Peter’s Street: 764 tickets/£39,650 collected
2. Byram Street: 548/£32,140
3. New Street: 475/£28,110
4. Acre Street: 462/£32,120
5. Corporation Street: 405/£25,530