Plymouth traffic wardens hand out a ticket every 13 minutes generating £1.2m
ONE parking ticket was issued every 13 minutes by traffic wardens last year – generating more than £1.2million.
New figures show that in the space of 12 months, 39,896 parking fines were issued in 2011, a jump of 4,480 when compared with 2010, despite a drop in the number of full time equivalent civil enforcement officer posts.
And, according to Plymouth City Council, one of the main reasons behind the increase in tickets is because of the £70,000 CCTV camera car.
The vehicle, which was introduced in 2010, caused much controversy among city taxi drivers after a number of them were issued tickets for dropping customers off on double yellow lines.
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A spokeswoman for Plymouth City Council said: "One of the main reasons we have seen an increase in the overall number of Penalty Charge Notices is the introduction of our CCTV camera car, which has helped us to detect and tackle parking contraventions in areas such as bus stops and on school 'keep clear' markings – which were much more difficult to enforce by officers on foot.
"The camera car is proving very successful in changing driver habits and we are starting to see much less abuse of school 'keep clear' zones, bus stops and pedestrian areas – meaning better traffic flow, more reliable bus services and safer roads."
The number of penalty notices issued in 2011 works out at the equivalent of one being dished out every 13 minutes and 1,329 tickets for each FTE officer.
Currently there are 35 FTE civil enforcement officer posts but this year the Council have operated with five FTE vacancies and four last year.
In 2011/12 there were 30 full time enforcement officer roles and 31 in 2010/11.
According to the Council the introduction of 'pay on foot' parking has virtually eliminated fines in the Theatre Royal and Regent Street car parks – where previously a very high numbers of PCNs were issued.
The spokeswoman added: "Our mobile phone payment system and card facilities have also made it easier for people to pay and to 'top up' their stay if they need to, reducing the risk of getting a ticket."
According to data obtained by an insurance company this was more than Wolverhampton City Council whose 32 officers handed out 579 parking fines in 2011; a total of 18,528 tickets. And although rare, an insurer is entitled to request for up to a third of the cost of an accident if the policyholder is proven to have parked illegally and in a hazardous way.