Research has shown that parking wardens in Worcester are among the most prolific in the United Kingdom having handed out close to 2,000 tickets each in just twelve months. The figures are based on eleven parking wardens with the average coming out at 1,944 tickets each during 2011.
The city’s wardens are the third most prolific in the UK with only Liverpool and Coventry wardens handing out more tickets. However, motorists in the city could be in for a shock as the local council have decided to increase the number of wardens from eleven to sixteen which will mean even more motorists will be handed fixed penalty notices. Last year they dished out 1,386 more tickets than they did in 2010 and this number is likely to increase even more with five extra workers ready to hand out the unwanted fines that range from £25 to £70. This will not please drivers who spend time looking at motor insurance quotes in an effort to save money and some will wish they lived in Sunderland where wardens hand out an average of just 296 tickets each.
Councillor Paul Denham, deputy leader of the Labour group, said “If these fines were used to warn people away from parking unlawfully in streets that’s laudable, but I suspect a lot of it is from catching people out at car parks. People do take chances because prices at car parks in Worcester are relatively high compared to other parts of the county. I personally remain sceptical about data like this. I understand we’re more or less in line with cities of our size and type. The civil enforcement officers have a job to do and it’s not easy for them and they actually use a lot of discretion. They’ve got to make sure people abide by the rules, it’s about keeping Worcester moving.”
The city council are confident that the figures for Worcester are around the average, and bosses insist they are not interested in making money from local people or visitors. Any money raised goes straight back into transport-related schemes such as maintaining the fifteen car parks and providing the wages for the enforcement team.