NEARLY 1,000 parking tickets have been handed out by Flintshire Council in the two months since it took over enforcement.
The authority took over from North Wales Police on October 1 and since then civil parking enforcement officers have issued 995 penalty charge notices to motorists and in the process have generated £22,005 from fines.
Flintshire Council imposes two levels of fines for illegal parking – £50 and £70.
During the first month of operation, 205 motorists were penalised at £50 with a further 790 being hit with a £70 fine.
622 motorists were able to secure a discounted rate by paying their tickets within 14 days, with 22 drivers having to pay the full amount.
351 fines are yet to be paid, according to the unitary authority.
The county council said all money received from the parking tickets was used to finance the administration of civil parking enforcement.
Of the tickets handed out, 800 were issued for on-street offences with 195 given to off-street offenders.
Figures show that drivers in Mold appear to be the most penalised with 613 tickets (61 per cent) being handed out in the town.
Mold town centre manager Dave Hill said the introduction of civil parking enforcement had helped to make getting about the town much easier.
He said: “Traffic congestion has calmed down in the town since the introduction of civil parking enforcement. Access to the shops has been easier too.
“I’ve had very few complaints that parking fines have been inappopriately handed out as well.
“Civil parking enforcement was bound to see an increase but I expect that to level out.
“We need to see what happens in the next six months as behaviours change.”
North Wales AM Antoinette Sandbach said the figures show parking policies for Mold need a serious re-think.
She said: “It is interesting that Mold is one of the few places in Flintshire that charges for parking. Small traders – who are competing against large shopping centres with free parking – consistently tell me that parking is an issue for their customers.
“I quite appreciate that certain locations and especially disabled parking bays need to be kept clear to ensure traffic can flow easily, but if people are parking illegally to avoid car park charges that cannot be good for shops and businesses in our town centres.
“I’d ask Flintshire councillors to look again at their parking policies for Mold. Anything that deters trade is a serious issue in today’s economic climate.”
Neal Cockerton, Flintshire Council’s head of assets and transportation, said: “Our enforcement team has been working across the county.
“There has been a noticeable improvement in general levels of traffic congestion and highway obstructions in our communities since taking over their new roles, which will benefit the local economy and travelling public."