REVEALED: Over €2m raised from parking tickets and fines in Kildare

Niamh O'Donoghue takes a look at pay parking in County Kildare over the past three years

Niamh O'Donoghue

Reporter:

Niamh O'Donoghue

Email:

niamh.odonoghue@leinsterleader.ie

REVEALED: Over €2m raised from parking tickets and fines in Kildare

Parking metre on the Main Street in Naas. Changes have been recently made to the parking byelaws in Naas and Sallins

Over €2m euro was taken in through pay parking in Kildare over the past three years.

Figures obtained by the Leinster Leader under the Freedom of Information Act show that €627,932 was earned through parking fines and income from tickets in 2015.

This grew to €752,495 in 2016. 

From January up until September 30 this year, the council  raked in a total of €640,477. 

With the income from the remaining months of the year yet to be included, its likely that figure will rise again this year.

The pay parking income also includes money received from court cases for the non payment of fines. 

The figures show that a total of 48,014 parking fines were issued in the county since the beginning of 2015.  

The breakdown for the past three years is: 15,592 for 2015, 18,309 for 2016, and 14,113 up to the end of September 2017. 

Just over 11 per cent of tickets were appealed during that time. 

In 2015, 1,891 pay parking fines were questioned, while the council received 1,684 appeals in 2016. 

The figure for the first nine months of this year has already surpassed these totals with appeals  reaching 1,907 so far.

Kildare County Council operates pay parking in Newbridge, Kildare, Celbridge, Leixlip, Maynooth, Naas and Athy.

The towns of Newbridge, Kildare, Celbridge, Leixlip and Maynooth are contracted, regulated and managed by APCOA Parking Ireland Ltd, where you can also pay for parking by phone.

The local authority says its traffic wardens, or  agents who operate pay parking do not clamp vehicles, and don't receive commission or bonuses in relation to the number of parking fines issued.

No fine quota or target is in place.

So what happens to an unpaid fine? When a pay parking fine is issued, a reminder is sent ten days later, if it is unpaid. Then , 29 days from the date it was issued, the original fine is doubled. 

If it is still not paid, fifty seven days after issue, a admin fee of €40 is added. 

If it is still not settled, a solicitor's warning letter is sent for fines not paid within 56 days and if 95 days pass, a summons is issued for court with a legal fee of €100 added to the fine amount. 

Meanwhile, changes were recently made to pay parking in Naas  with Saturday parking charges reintroduced  on October 7.

Naas Municipal District agreed a number of changes to the parking rules in Naas and Sallins and new byelaws were introduced. The charges apply from Monday to Saturday between 9.30am and 5.30pm. Previously, motorists were liable to pay between 8.30am and 6.30pm. At the same time motorists will be shown less leniency.

The “observation period” of 15 minutes before a fine is issued  is to be done away with because Kildare County Council argues it is “difficult to enforce” and causes “confusion to the public”.