Havering parking tickets up 67pc on Easter Monday
PUBLISHED: 09:00 09 July 2012 | UPDATED: 10:46 09 July 2012
»Havering Council issued 67 per cent more parking tickets on Easter Monday than on the previous Monday, new figures show.
It also had two extra traffic wardens on duty on the bank holiday than on the same day of the previous week.
But the council says it has a duty to stop people parking illegally and that enforcement officers work on a rota. It insists the extra wardens were not put on especially for the holiday.
A West London man who was visiting Romford was issued with a ticket in Wayside Close after his vehicle was filmed on a yellow line by the council’s CCTV car.
Angered by getting a ticket on a bank holiday, David O’Leary put in a Freedom of Information request to find out about the level of parking fines that day.
The council said it issued 162 penalty charge notices on April 9 (Easter Monday), up from just 97 the week before.
It also showed that it had six parking enforcement officers working that day, compared with four on the Monday of the week before.
Mr O’Leary, 27, said: “I’m shocked that Havering Council is shamelessly taking advantage of motorists to fill their budget black hole.
“Where I live and work, the councils relax parking restrictions on Easter Monday but Havering clearly just think it’s another opportunity to squeeze more cash out of hard-pressed people who just want to get together with family and friends over the holiday.”
He estimates that the council made £10,500 from motorists on Easter Monday – if all 162 were fined the standard £65.
Cllr Jeff Tucker (Independent Residents’ Group, Rainham and Wennington) has discussed the issue of bank holiday parking fines in the chamber at Havering Council in the past.
He said: “It’s ripping the residents off. Parking in the borough should be free so that we attract people in and make money through the increase in business it would generate.”
Cllr Clarence Barrett, leader of the opposition Residents’ Association, said: “This appears to be nothing more than a cynical and shameful ploy to extract more income from motorists caught out by the uncertainty of bank holiday restrictions.”
Cabinet Member for the Environment, Cllr Barry Tebbutt, said: “We do not put extra officers on duty on bank holidays. People who park illegally should expect to get fined.”