£240,000 still owed in unpaid parking fines to North Lincolnshire Council
More than £240,000 is still owed to North Lincolnshire Council in unpaid parking fines over the past three years, according to recent figures.
The Telegraph used the Freedom of Information Act to find out the amount owed in unpaid penalty charge notices to the local authority.
Since 2010 there is £241,000 outstanding, roughly 20 per cent of the total value of notices issued.
In the year 2010/11 there was £99,959 owed, in 2011/12 there was £95,649 owed, and the amount outstanding so far for 2012/13 is £45,392.
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Now in a bid to claw back the outstanding cash, the council is determined to follow its debt recovery process – predicting the existing recovery rate of 82 per cent (2011/12) to rise by the end of the year.
A North Lincolnshire Council spokeswoman said: "Parking enforcement is there for a reason – to ensure that people park responsibly and don't break the law.
"Our continued drive to raise awareness and educate people to be better parkers is paying dividends, with fewer tickets issued this year. It is thought that the introduction of free parking has also helped as it encourages people off the streets and into the car parks.
"The council has a good recovery rate of 82 per cent (2011/12) – one of the best in the region.
"We expect this figure to rise as we recover more money through the debt recovery process – a rigorous system under the Traffic Management Act 2004 that we must follow."
Since 2010/11 the council has issued around 32,000 penalty charge notices.
In the same period, the local authority has successfully collected £963,187 in parking fines.
The debt recovery process can take up to 12 months to complete, even stretching to 18 months in certain cases – this is something which the authority believes has an effect on the figures.
The spokeswoman added: "There is a lengthy recovery process where in some cases it can take anywhere between 12 and 18 months to recoup the money and this is reflected in the figures.
"The court proceedings are out of our control and we have no say on how long it will take to recover the money.
"The figures fluctuate almost on a daily basis as more notices are issued and more money comes in – either through payment of notices or through the debt recovery process."