TOWN traders have slammed news that the number of parking tickets issued in the borough is set to increase by more than 12 per cent this year.
Traffic wardens have already issued 12,132 parking tickets in the 10 months to the end of January, raking in £375,643 for the borough council.
With figures for the final two months of the last year still to come, Stafford Bor- ough Council is projecting the total for the year to be 15,000 tickets.
That represents an increase of 12.4 per cent on the 13,344 tickets handed out last year. Some 1,552 of the penalties handed out have been cancelled.
The council says last year’s figures were low because of roadworks on Mill Street and Eastgate Street, Stafford’s worst two areas for parking offences.
Graham Williamson, owner of The Shoe Tree, in Mill Street, said: “It’s been vicious in the last year. The traffic wardens jump on anybody very quickly and in Mill Street it’s all because people have parked in the
wrong place. There’s no doubt there’s been an increase here, it’s easy pickings.”
Elaine Gilbert, of Wicca’s World, in East- gate Street, said a friend had been ticketed as he brought something into the shop.
“He was there about 15 minutes,” she said.
Most of the money - £201,125 was gen- erated by tickets issued in the borough’s streets, with £174,518 brought in from off- street tickets.
Despite the hike in the number of tickets issued, income was below projected fig- ures. The authority says this is because their enforcement message is getting through to motorists.
A report to Stafford Borough Council’s joint parking committee said: “Total income for the period from the issue of penalty charge notices is lower than antic- ipated on and off-street.
“This can be partially attributed to the reduction in indiscriminate parking and increased compliance from motorists, which demonstrates the Clear the Streets message is still working. Also several car parks and parking bays were closed for varying periods of time whilst improve- ments works were carried out.”