MOTORISTS in Wigan have racked up more than 20,000 parking tickets in the past 12 months.
Figures released under the Freedom of Information Act show that leaving a car illegally on the borough’s streets is an expensive business, with more than £500,000 worth of fines being collected from drivers in the borough between August 2011 and August 2012.
The figures also show a dramatic change in where parking tickets in Wigan are being given out, with motorists falling foul of traffic wardens on Library Street shooting up. Some 946 tickets have been issued on the street outside the town hall so far this year, compared to just 125 this time last year.
This colossal increase also means Wigan Lane is not the most ticketed street in the borough for the first time since 2009 after the number of penalised infractions fell significantly, from 945 tickets until September 2011 to 618 so far this year.
Spinning Gates car park in Leigh remains the most ticketed off-road place to park in the borough, though the number of tickets issued fell slightly compared to last year’s figures, with 906 being issued so far this year.
Altogether 21,620 tickets were given to motorists between August 2011 and August 2012, with the council collecting £514,054 in fines during the same time period.
The figures revealed Wigan Council was also still owed some £207,966 in unpaid parking penalties on September 12 this year.
Parking offences in Wigan are punished by the council issuing Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs), with low-level infractions occurring a £50 fine and more serious offences setting the driver back £70.
Discounts of up to 50 per cent of the charge can be obtained if the person receiving the notice pays within 14 days, but failure to pay can result in the charge being increased or bailiffs being sent to recover the money owed.
Mark Tilley, Head of Infrastructure at Wigan Council, said: “The figures don’t indicate a problem with parking in Wigan. There is adequate parking provision in the majority of locations. At busy, high demand locations, parking is managed or charged for. Some drivers will take a chance, either by not paying in areas where charges apply or by parking for a longer period than allowed or paid for.
“The council will continue to enforce restrictions that are in place to ensure that parking is carried out without compromising road safety or without obstructing traffic flows and to ensure that there is an adequate turnover of spaces at those locations where there is a high demand for car parking.
“If drivers park within the rules that apply at each location, they will not be issued with a Penalty Charge Notice for doing so; if drivers don’t park within these rules, they could be issued with a Penalty Charge Notice.”
Top 10 most ticketed streets
Library Street 946 tickets
Wigan Lane 618 tickets
Millgate 443 tickets
Crawford Street 261 tickets
Standishgate 256 tickets
Bridgeman Terrace 176 tickets
Hallgate 153 tickets
Mesnes Park Terrace 151 tickets
Lord Street, Leigh 148 tickets
Upper Dicconson Street 141 tickets
Top 10 most ticketed car parks
Spinning Gate 906 tickets
Haigh Hall 315 tickets
Doctors Nook 278 tickets
Civic Centre 268 tickets
Lord Street 249 tickets
Chapel Lane 242 tickets
Harrogate Street 217 tickets
Mona Street East 164 tickets
Pennington Country Park 139 tickets
Railway Arches Car Park, Leigh 134 tickets