The County You Live, Work And Play
SLC Collect Over £300,000 in Parking Fines
Parking charges in the Hamilton area were slammed after it emerged that motorists had shelled out more than £300,000 in fines last year.
Fines collected for parking offences in the Hamilton area (comprising Hamilton, Blantyre, Larkhall, Uddingston, Bothwell, Stonehouse, and Burnbank) contributed the largest amount of cash to South Lanarkshire Council’s coffers.
Figures obtained under the Freedom of Information Act show that the amount collected in Penalty Charge Notices in the Hamilton area in 2015 was £308,575.99.
Clydesdale drivers paid out a total of £43,952.45 in parking fines last year, East Kilbride £176,225.39, and Rutherglen and Cambuslang £106,469.19.
Lanarkshire Chamber of Commerce described the amount collected in fines in the Hamilton area as “outrageous”.
Its chief executive Neil Kennedy said: “The comparison between North and South Lanarkshire is stark. North Lanarkshire do not charge for parking. You can park free in Motherwell but not in Hamilton.
“Paying for parking is a disincentive to business in Hamilton. If you work in Hamilton the only option is on-street parking or local authority car parks.
“The amount raised in penalty charges for Hamilton is excessive. I’d call on South Lanarkshire to follow North Lanarkshire’s example.”
Central Scotland Conservative MSP Margaret Mitchell, a long-standing critic of South Lanarkshire’s parking regime, said this week: “South Lanarkshire Council are still pursuing a very aggressive cash-generating parking and penalty policy in Hamilton.
“They are making a lot of money from motorists but it does nothing to encourage people to come into the town and spend money.
“It’s not designed to help local businesses. The council should be trying to encourage people to come into the town centre, increasing footfall, and supporting local businesses. This would improve economic prosperity. The drop in figures over five years doesn’t mask the fact the council’s parking policy is a regressive one.”
The 2015 Hamilton figures have fallen from £364,472.70 in 2011. The figure for Clydesdale that year was £92,898.87.
The number of penalty charge notices issued in the Hamilton area was 12,113 in 2011 and 11,780 in 2015.
In Clydesdale it was 3027 in 2011 and 1611 in 2015.
On-street parking charges in Hamilton apply Monday to Saturday between 8am and 6pm and on Sunday from 1pm to 6pm.
South Lanarkshire’s head of roads and transportation services Gordon Mackay said: “The enforcement of the restrictions is required to persuade drivers to think twice about where they park. Without such a deterrent, the inconvenience caused by bad parking would be much greater. The income the council receives from parking fines pays for the service provided to law-abiding motorists.”