Revealed: Thousands of parking charges issued in Wigan

Parking charges issued in Wigan
Parking charges issued in Wigan

Thousands of fines are still being dished out in the borough’s controlled parking zones each year - but hundreds are waived on appeal.

Figures released under the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act show that while the number of penalty charge notices (PCNs) being given out in residential or shared-use zones is falling a total of 2,112 were still handed out in 2017-18.

However, in more than one in four cases those penalised ended up paying nothing, with 624 of the PCNs subsequently being waved off.

Infringements in restricted zones are also accounting for an increasingly-large share of all the PCNs being handed out across the borough.

Wigan Council said it was pleased to see the number of motorist flouting parking rules coming down and also strongly denied that the high number of appeals meant wardens were being over-zealous in handing out PCNs.

Paul Barton (pictured), director for environment at Wigan Council, said: “We work hard to increase awareness and compliance of our parking restrictions and we do this partly through issuing parking charge notices.

“PCNs dissuade motorists from disregarding restrictions, so a decrease in the number of notices issued each year is encouraging as it means parking compliance across the borough is on the increase.

“Our officers inspect vehicles thoroughly to ensure that a valid permit or ticket is on display. We also take photographs of all vehicles before issuing a PCN.

“We do also operate a cancellation policy which details how and when a motorist can appeal their parking charge notice, for example, if a valid permit has fallen from view and the motorist is able to supply a copy.

“We continue to work hard to increase compliance of our parking restrictions, however, due to increasing parking zones, increasing numbers of vehicles at properties, visitors to residents and other similar factors, it is not always possible to identify all incidents of illegal parking.”

The 2017-18 figure was a slight reduction on the 2,259 PCNs dished out in the zones in 2016-17, which was itself lower than the 2,763 recorded in 2015-16.

The ratio of appeals to tickets was similar in 2016-17, with 642 PCNs waived on appeal.

However, in 2015-16 when more penalties were dished out there were also fewer successful appeals, with 591 cases where the perpetrator ended up not having to put their hands in their pockets.

Shared-use zone infractions accounted for 3.1 per cent of all the PCNs given out in the borough in 2017-18, compared to 2.3 per cent in 2016-17 and 1.8 per cent in the 12 months before that.

There are five controlled parking zones in the borough. Three of them are in Swinley and Leigh has two.

Residents or businesses wanting to park vehicles in the restricted bays have to apply for permits for themselves or visitors.