Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Parking Fines Up!

Parking fines in Northern Ireland will rise from £60 to £90, with effect from June, 2012.

The Minister for Regional Development, Danny Kennedy MLA, said the move followed a rise in illegal parking during the past year. At present, a £30 discount is applied if the £60 ticket is paid within 14 days.

The minister said his decision to increase penalties to £90 would still allow law-breakers who cleared their fine within a fortnight to pay a reduced fine of £45. 

Figures from the NI Department for Regional Development show that there were 125,848 parking fines issued in the Province between 1 January and 31 December, 2011. The figure was much higher than the previous year, when 116,009 tickets were written.

The Minister said:
"I welcome any comments the committee may wish to make on these proposals and I plan to explore other options with executive colleagues to help town centres during this difficult economic trading period. However, the additional revenue needed to maintain front-line services, such as pothole repairs and street light maintenance, must be found to avoid further annual increases in car parking charges over the lifetime of the budget."

Ha! Perhaps if more funds were spent on re-surfacing carriageways, rather than erecting bumps or humps thereon, such a substantial increase may not have been necessary.

I cannot recall the last time I parked in Belfast city centre. I tend to cycle in now, an occupation I find most refreshing and less stressful than seeking out a parking space.

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