THE amount paid in parking fees and fines to Bradford Council has risen by 8% so far in the 2019/20 financial year to £3.4 million – with around six weeks left to go.

The amount has been boosted by rising parking charges and an increasing number of penalty charge notices (PCNs), according to the Council’s figures.

On-street parking PCNs have jumped by more than 11,500 - 24% - to more than 59,000 compared to 2018/19, while off-street PCNs have risen by 4,500 - 46% - to 14,600.

Some months have seen a 50% increase in on-street PCNs compared to the same month the previous year, while off-street PCNs have doubled in some months.

Figures showing penalty charge income from each car park across the district reveal the total has already shot up by almost a third compared to last year, going up to £323,916 so far in 2019/20 against £238,369 in 2018/19.

The PCN income from some car parks has quadrupled, with Bingley Arts Centre income rising to £4,825 compared to £1,101, Exhibition Road in Shipley up to £5,466 from £833 and Wellington in Bingley £21,172 from £5,369. Figures for Railway Road car park in Ilkley show that penalties have so far brought in £1,300 compared to just £165 for the whole of 2018/19 and at Main Street in Bingley £28,322 was collected, up from £3,625 last year.

Several other car parks have seen their totals triple while a few have seen PCN income drop, including Bingley Pool, Britannia Mills and Central Library.

South Hawksworth Street car park in Ilkley has brought in £36,462 in PCN income, the most so far this financial year, Sharpe Street in Bradford city centre saw £35,513 and Bradford’s Crown Court £30,266.

Over the past few years there have been several changes to car park charges with hourly rates rising and previously free periods now being charged for. One of the biggest changes introduced was new on-street parking zones, in July, and figures obtained by Councillor Anne Hawkesworth (Ind, Ilkley) reveal that in the first month on-street pay and display totalled £33,677.90.

Between July 29 and October 13 there were 1,702 on-street PCNs issued which, with every PCN issued generating £27 of income over a period of time, will generate an estimated income of £45,954.

Post-6pm charges of £1 were introduced in three town car parks - Wharfe View, Railway Road and South Hawksworth Street - and in the same period 298 PCNs were issued, generating an estimated £8,046 income.

The parking regime is being enforced by two wardens whose annual cost is £64,000.

Cllr Hawkesworth, who has been campaigning about parking and charges in Ilkley, said: “Really it looks as though they win either way. Because of the confusion with the new parking regulations, probably fines have run at a high level.

“This is particularly because the wardens have been, shall I say, rather enthusiastic. In the car park at weekends when diners have paid their after-6pm £1 ticket in order to be able to get a taxi home, having dined adequately but done the right thing and not driven, they have been clobbered next morning by the wardens being about at 8am in order to catch them.”

Cllr Alex Ross-Shaw, Portfolio Holder for Regeneration, Planning and Transport at Bradford Council, said: “On-street parking charges were recommended as part of the independent review in Ilkley undertaken due to the increasing difficulties people were having with parking in and around the town.

“The point of parking charges is to make sure that people coming to shop in Ilkley can find a space to park in. Some people park in Ilkley all day but get on the train and then work or shop in other towns or cities in the region. The on-street parking zones in Ilkley ensure that there is a more frequent turnover of parked cars which is better for shoppers and visitors.

“The number of people receiving fines while using these zones has been on a downward trend since the first month of implementation, which is what we would anticipate as users get used to the new regulations. Ideally we’d like the fines to get down to zero.

“With regards to long-stay, all car parks in Ilkley, excluding South Hawksworth, have a multiple purchase option allowing you to pay for parking the following morning. Additionally, the number of people who have received fines between 8-9am at South Hawksworth after leaving their car overnight are very low which would suggest that people are using the mechanisms provided. Additionally, the number of people who have received fines between 8-9am at South Hawksworth after leaving their car overnight are very low which would suggest that people are using the mechanisms provided.

“Let’s not have a go at wardens who are just doing their job. Wardens are required to act when they identify a vehicle parked in contravention.”