£100 parking fines in Glasgow

I'm aghast for Scottish motorists; Glasgow council wants to increase parking fines from £30 to £100.  Drivers should get out of their cars and onto the streets and protest at this massive rise.  Motorists must take action to stop the council ripping them off.  This is a clear case of Glaswegian councillors trying to rake in some more cash in tough times.

In 1991 local authorities were given the option to take responsibility for parking enforcement, a power until then held exclusively by the police.  In return councils are permitted to keep all proceeds generated.  Back in November we told you about how local authorities are raking in £328m in parking fines, the report is here.  This money doesn’t even have to be spent on local transportation and improvement (it’s not ring-fenced for the best performing councils).  Glasgow City Council have form for reckless spending of taxpayer's money.  We also recently saw the highly public fall from grace of ex-leader Steven Purcell, with questions still remaining over whether or not taxpayers' will pick up the bill for a PR firm brought in to manage the crisis surrounding his departure.

At £100 (£50 if paid earlier) the penalty clearly outweighs the offence, and its unlikely that Glaswegian drivers will see any improvement in their local services after giving all this extra money to Glasgow City Council (although level of roadworks is likely to remain constant).

In 2007/08 Glasgow city collected £4,652,000 in parking penalties; a year later this had shot up to £5,528,000.   These takings were roughly in line with Birmingham, which has a similar daytime population to Glasgow City.  If Glasgow were to more than triple the cost of a parking ticket they would be making, by far and away, more than Birmingham in revenue from parking.

For anyone who has ever received a parking ticket when money’s a bit tight, the threat of having to find £30 to cover it is enough to encourage most drivers to avoid parking illegally.  I am not even sure that my first car was worth £100, so it seems far too high a price to charge for a parking offence.  Successful parking enforcement doesn’t necessitate over zealous wardens, or councillors who treat parking tickets as a cash cow.

If they really need the money Glasgow City council could save some dosh by cutting back on the £1.65m they spend on publicity, instead of hitting motorists with higher parking fines.

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