The number of parking tickets slapped on Fife vehicles has soared over the past five years, The Courier can reveal.
Across the region, 21,790 parking charge notices were issued last year, up 7.6% on the 20,142 handed out in 2016/17 and a marked rise on the 16,643 served in 2013/14 when Fife Council first took over responsibility for parking enforcement after it was decriminalised in April that year.
Last year’s total — just shy of 60 tickets a day — generated around £586,000 in income, with a further £2.7 million brought in via charged parking areas throughout the Kingdom.
Council chiefs put the rise down to more efficient allocation of staff, and the continued enforcement of Sunday charging which was introduced in Fife in January 2017.
Ken Gourlay, head of assets, transportation and environment, said the enforcement operation would continue to be monitored and reviewed, and paid tribute to staff for dealing with “challenging behaviour” from the public.
“The parking attendants’ primary role is to ensure motorists comply with the various parking regulations in Fife,” he said.
“It would be appropriate to note the professional role and integrity of the whole parking team in dealing with upset individuals on site and through often very difficult telephone calls and complex and demanding correspondence.
“In the face of such challenging behaviour the team has remained resilient and maintains a fair and consistent approach to all of its customers.”
Mr Gourlay said the use of body CCTV units and conflict management techniques had helped to reduce incidences of anti-social behaviour directed towards staff, but cases did still happen.
“The council adopts a zero tolerance policy in terms of any abuse of our staff and all incidents are recorded and investigated and reported to the police where appropriate,” he added.
The figures reveal most fines were doled out in Kirkcaldy, where 6,235 notices were issued, with St Andrews next on the list with 5,583 and Dunfermline with 5,423.
Inverkeithing, Cupar and Leuchars were also high on the table, while at the other end of the scale places including Methilhill, Kingseat, Ceres, Dairsie, Newmills, Townhill, Crossford, Hill of Beath, Ballingry, Crosshill and Milton of Balgonie had no notices recorded in 2017/18.
Councillors on the region’s economy, tourism, strategic planning and transportation committee will be told later this week that it is too early to predict the impact of legislation currently making its way through parliament to ban double parking and parking on pavements.
Fife Council supports the Bill, but officials say the new approach is likely to place significant pressure on an already stretched parking enforcement service.