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Parking fines; we seem to get them more and more these days!! However there is some justification to parking fines and restrictions although its hard to believe! Parking fines generate much needed revenue for local authorities to help pay for everything to do with our local road network. This can be things like new signs, pavement widening and repairing potholes. If we are foolish enough not to adhere to parking restrictions then we cannot really complain when we receive parking tickets!

Parking enforcement officers also play a very important role by helping to keep the roads and by-ways clear for any vehicles responding to emergency calls. This is of course of huge importance.

In general, parking infringements occur in the following ways. If you park on a public road and do not follow the parking instructions you could find yourself with a parking fine, or as it is officially known a fixed penalty notice or penalty charge notice. For many local authorities parking is not a criminal matter, and it is the responsibility of the council not the police to govern local parking policy and the enforcement of such regulations. However, failure to take responsibility for any parking infringement and subsequent penalties can result in the matter escalating to a criminal issue involving the police and the local magistrate’s court!

If you commit a parking offence where the police are responsible, a police officer or traffic warden can fix a penalty notice to your vehicle. The details of the offence will be on the notice along with the amount of the fine and the time frame in which to pay. If you pay within a certain time period, the amount you have to pay is reduced.

If the local authority is responsible for the fixed penalty or penalty charge and you park where you shouldn’t, a local authority civil enforcement officer can fix a penalty notice to your vehicle, they can also send it to you. As above if you accept you were in the wrong, you can pay the amount they ask for and again if paid within a certain time frame the amount is reduced.

There are more than 70 reasons why you could be given a parking ticket. Some of the most common include parking on yellows lines, parking in residents parking areas without a permit and not displaying a valid ticket in a pay and display area.

The good news is there are ways of appealing most kinds of ticket if it was given unfairly or mistakenly. For more information contact you local Citizens Advice Bureau.

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