Westminster Council rakes in £100,000 per day from parking fines
Profits are soaring for Westminster parking bosses as new figures reveal they issued more tickets last year than any other London borough. Westminster s wardens issued just fewer than 825,000 tickets between April 1 2007 and March 31 2008, according to fi
PROFITS are soaring for Westminster parking bosses as new figures reveal they issued more tickets last year than any other London borough.
Westminster's wardens issued just fewer than 825,000 tickets between April 1 2007 and March 31 2008, according to figures released last Thursday.
They came out top of the list handing out nearly 300,000 more tickets than the second highest earning borough - Camden.
But despite profiting a colossal £38 million from parking services, Westminster has now pledged to reduce tickets by 10 per cent in the coming year.
Lisa McGowan, who brings her son to Marylebone for speech therapy lessons, said: "These tickets are not doing anything to deter anyone, they're just another tax - and we already pay our road tax.
"It's not necessarily an option to get on public transport because it's not reliable enough, but when you drive you risk tickets of £120 which are completely excessive."
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She also said the new text-payment system, where motorists can text ahead and pay for their parking by credit card, had lead to further stress for her family.
"Last week my husband paid for his parking by text, but when he got back to his car he had a ticket," she said.
"Then you have to go through the whole process of writing a letter and risking the amount being doubled.
"They stop you contesting, even when you know you're in the right, because you don't want the amount to go up. You feel cornered all the time."
Westminster also topped the list for clamping, as more than 14,000 motorists fell victim - compared to 64 for neighbouring Camden. And more than 19,000 vehicles were removed to the pound with a whopping £200 fine to release them.
But Westminster Council no longer clamps or removes vehicles and has pledged to reduce tickets by warning drivers who park illegally.
Transport boss Cllr Danny Chalkley said: "We have introduced a number of common sense parking measures in Westminster to make life easier for motorists. In just six months, this has resulted in nearly 40 per cent fewer tickets being issued to resident permit holders and a drop of around 50 per cent for the number of tickets issued to HGV drivers."
Deputy chairman of London's transport and environment committee, Cllr Colin Smith, said: "Motorists are often irritated to find they have been issued with a ticket, but the simple message is if you don't break the rules you will not get one. I would also remind anyone who feels they should not have received a ticket that they have the right to appeal to the independent Parking and Traffic Appeals Service who have the final say in every disputed case.