Law-abiding drivers cost council dearly

MOTORISTS looking for a place to park are costing an Essex council tens of thousands of pounds - by sticking to the rules.Chelmsford Borough Council has been labelled one of the “nastiest” councils in England partly because of the dedication demonstrated by its parking wardens.

MOTORISTS looking for a place to park are costing an Essex council tens of thousands of pounds - by sticking to the rules.

Chelmsford Borough Council has been labelled one of the “nastiest” councils in England partly because of the dedication demonstrated by its parking wardens.

But the council's tough-line approach seems to have worked too well, with drivers becoming increasingly wary of flouting the town's parking rules.

As a result, the council is thousands of pounds out of pocket.


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Finance officers at the council believe the council will make £56,000 less than it planned to in parking fines.

The shortfall is equivalent to nearly 2,000 parking tickets at £30 each.

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The financial shortfall was yesterday welcomed by the council's leader, Roy Whitehead, who said the figures reflected the dedication of the council's parking staff.

Mr Whitehead added that the revenue reduction was a result of motorists sticking to the rules rather than a relaxation of parking enforcement.

He said: “We are enforcing parking for the benefit of others and it is something we do religiously and with dedication. In fact we recently had a question raised at council about us being the nastiest council in England. We're not, and we don't try to persecute people.

“But our approach has improved parking a great deal. People are not parking wrongly as much now and the numbers of parking tickets has come down.

“As it stands we are reasonably relaxed about this because we believe better parking is better for the borough.”

The reduction in parking fines during the year is just one of the areas in which Chelmsford Borough Council is making less money than expected.

Takings from the town's car parks are also down - by £164,000 on the April revenue forecast.

Hylands Park has also brought in less money during the year than anticipated earlier this year. The shortfall, which amounts to £164,000, is the result of the building undergoing comprehensive refurbishment.

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