Thousands of parking zone fines issued in Wigan

Tickets on cars in Swinley
Tickets on cars in Swinley

More than 2,500 fines have been slapped on vehicles left in controlled parking zones without the correct permits in just 12 months.

Last month the Observer received complaints about multiple cars being parked in permit-only bays in Swinley without permits.

Some cars had been given several parking charge notices, which their owners had allegedly just thrown away, while residents with passes struggled to find somewhere to park.

So the Observer submitted a request to Wigan Council using the Freedom of Information Act to find out the scale of the problem.

Unfortunately, the council was not able to provide separate data for each of the controlled parking zones in the borough - there are three in Swinley and two in Leigh.

But its response did reveal that 14,138 penalty notices were issued across the zones between August 1, 2018 and July 31, 2019.

A total of 2,541 fines were issued to vehicles under the three contravention codes used when vehicles are not displaying a permit or have an invalid permit.

Of these, 675 fines have not yet been paid.

The council issued 3,307 permits in the controlled parking zones in 2018, which are given to owners and occupiers of premises, both residential and business, in those areas.

If a vehicle is parked without a permit or in contravention of other rules, fines of £50 and £70 can be issued, which are halved if paid within 14 days.

One Swinley resident, who asked not to be named, said she was “not surprised” by the number of notices issued for cars without permits.

She said parking wardens go to Upper Dicconson Street, Dicconson Terrace and nearby roads every day to hand out fines, but she wants more to be done, such as having the vehicles towed away.

The woman believes the problem stems from a used car business which she claims is being run from a flat in the area and has several vehicles parked on the streets every day without permits.

She said: “The situation got slightly better briefly for about three weeks. It went down from 12, 13, 14 cars on a daily basis to two or three. It’s gone back up again now. There are a lot of cars.”

Dave Lyon, assistant director for environment at the council, said: “Having a sufficient parking provision contributes to our ongoing economic development and ensures we can support town centres and local businesses.

“Controlled parking zones are introduced to areas where there is a high level of non-residents parking, ie 60 per cent or more of available spaces that are occupied by non-residents on a daily basis.

“Parking enforcement is used where appropriate to deter motorists from parking in locations where they compromise public and highway safety or cause obstruction.

“Swinley is regularly patrolled for vehicles parked in contravention of the area’s parking restrictions and enforcement action will be taken against any vehicle that does not have a permit or is not displaying the correct one clearly.”