Loss on Newbridge pay parking fines

Main Street, Newbridge
A total of €207,146, after costs, was raised from pay parking fees in Newbridge in 2012.

A total of €207,146, after costs, was raised from pay parking fees in Newbridge in 2012.

However, a total income of €1.16m was recorded for the town by Kildare County Council.

This is because any money raised from traffic and court fines, which amounted to €455,160 last year in Newbridge, is routed back to Kildare County Council’s general roads programme while the pay parking expenditure amounted to €500,257 for the year.

Newbridge Town Councillor, Paddy Kennedy, believes the Town Council has now lost control over pay parking.

“We have lost control of the money coming in from pay parking,” said Cllr Kennedy speaking to the Leinster Leader.

“The money ringfenced for Newbridge is the money that comes from the machines. If money comes in from fines or court we are not getting it. I plan to bring this up at the next Area Committee meeting.”

According to Cllr Kennedy, only the income from the on street and off street pay and display is ringfenced for Newbridge.

A spokesperson for Kildare County Council, Annette Aspell, confirmed that when the scheme was set up it was agreed that “any surplus from pay parking would go towards priority projects in Newbridge” while all monies from fines would go back into the ‘general roads programme’.

However the monies from fines since 2010 have steadily made up a signifcant amount of the income generated from pay parking in Newbridge with €423,281 raised in 2010 and €489,838 in 2011. Meanwhile Newbridge’s new draft pay parking bye-laws are still in the submission stage and have yet to be adopted however last summer over 100 businesses in Newbridge signed a submission to urge the Council to change the town’s pay parking regulations.

Local shop owners voiced their concerns that the town centre is losing business because of the draconian pay parking measures in place in the town.

The businesses wanted to see an hour’s free parking introduced in the town centre so that their customers can go about their business without fear of being fined by the parking wardens. The council proposed making just the first 15 minutes parking free.