The number of fines being issued for civil parking offences across Suffolk has increased considerably since local councils took on responsibility for enforcement.

In East Suffolk alone, the number of tickets for contravening on-street parking regulations had more than doubled during the financial year 2021/22, compared to 2020/21, while in Ipswich there had been a 30% rise between the year 2022/23 and 2020/21.

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The figures, obtained through a Freedom of Information (FOI) request to local authorities by the EADT, showed that East Suffolk Council's 20 parking attendants had dished out 30,890 penalty charge notices (PCNs) in the district in 2021/22, but only 13,324 in 2020/21.

East Anglian Daily Times: Hamilton Road in Felixstowe has seen a high number of PCNsHamilton Road in Felixstowe has seen a high number of PCNs (Image: Google Maps)

The 30,890 PCNs raked in £541,408 for the council, compared to £320,297 in 2020/21.

Meanwhile, in Ipswich, 20,475 PCNs were doled out during the last year, compared to 15,186 in 2020/21, bringing in £442,971 for the council, whereas in 2020/21 the equivalent figure was only £286,892.

However, an Ipswich Borough Council spokesperson said the increase could have been linked to the end of COVID pandemic restrictions, which caused a decline in car use and the creation of a new residents permit zone which increased restrictions in the town.

East Anglian Daily Times: Parking attendants were also busy in Hadleigh High StreetParking attendants were also busy in Hadleigh High Street (Image: Google Maps)

But in the Babergh and Mid Suffolk districts, there was a decrease in tickets, with just 444 being issued in the year to March 13, compared to 932 in 2021/22.

However, in the previous year, 2020/21, there were 602 PCNs.

The borough councils are also responsible for parking enforcement in the district, along with West Suffolk Council.

The spokesperson said: "We are pleased to see that the number of PCNs issued within the areas of Babergh and Mid Suffolk, where Ipswich Borough Council is responsible for civil parking enforcement, have reduced.

East Anglian Daily Times: Old Foundry Road in Ipswich was a hotspot for ticketsOld Foundry Road in Ipswich was a hotspot for tickets (Image: Google Maps)

"This is most likely due to better compliance with the traffic restrictions in place, as a result of the enforcement activity over the previous two years.”

The authorities' figures also revealed which streets were hotspots for civil parking enforcement, with Old Foundry Road in Ipswich being prominent over the last two years, while in 2020/21, it was Cromwell Square.

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In East Suffolk, Hamilton Road in Felixstowe and Surrey Street in Lowestoft were popular ticketing places, while the High Streets in Hadleigh and Needham Market saw the most tickets in Babergh and Mid Suffolk respectively.

Councils are bound by law to use any money collected to provide and maintain 'off street parking accommodation,' with any surplus being used for transport-related projects.

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Responsibility for enforcement was passed from the police to local authorities in April 2020 and includes parking on yellow lines, in disabled bays and in zig-zag zones among other offences.

East Anglian Daily Times: Needham Market High Street came top in Mid Suffolk for parking finesNeedham Market High Street came top in Mid Suffolk for parking fines (Image: Gregg Brown)

Parking attendants can issue fines of up to £70 for contraventions of the rules, although the level of the charge depends on the nature of the offence.

For example, parking in a loading bay is deemed a higher level with a £70 fine, while parking without paying a charge warrants a lower level charge of £50.

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A large number of the PCNs were issued for parking on yellow lines; in East Suffolk, there were 3,929 tickets for this offence in 2021/22, while in Babergh there were 571 such violations during the same period.

In Ipswich, 8,887 of the 20,475 PCNs during the last year were for parking on yellow lines.

Parking in disabled bays also featured prominently, with 473 offences in East Suffolk in 2021/22 and 73 in Babergh during the same period.

Figures for the West Suffolk district were unavailable.

Nobody from East Suffolk Council was available for comment.