There has been a dramatic rise in penalties for illegal parking in Cork City, with a 37% increase in the number of parking fines handed out by traffic wardens last year.
New figures provided by Cork City Council show a total of 37,313 parking tickets were issued during 2016 — an increase of more than 10,000 on the previous year.
An average of 102 motorists were fined for a parking offence each day last year compared to just 75 in 2015.
The surge in the number of issued parking tickets should also result in increased revenue for the council.
The value of parking fines imposed on motorists last year rose by almost 39% or around €464,000 to €1,658,490.
The South Mall retains its notoriety as the city’s top location for vehicles getting caught for breaching parking regulations.
Traffic wardens detected almost 2,400 vehicles parked illegally on the South Mall last year — more than 300 more than in 2015 but still considerably less than in 2013 when more than 3,800 motorists were detected parking illegally there.
The top five parking blackspots stayed in the same order, with St Patrick’s St having the second highest number of parking tickets at 1,487 — almost 400 more than the previous year.
It was followed by Morrison’s Quay (780), Grand Parade (756), and Cornmarket St (709).
Other areas where parking offenders are likely to be caught include Fr Mathew Quay, Oliver Plunkett St, Sullivan’s Quay, and public car parks at White St and Grattan St.
More than three quarters of all motorists issued with a parking ticket last year were given the standard €40 fine.
More than 7,700 received a €60 penalty for failing to display a current motor tax disc, while 304 drivers were fined €80 for parking in a space reserved for disabled drivers.
Cork City Council earns in excess of €8m annually from all parking revenue, including fines as well as parking fees from its Black Ash park-and-ride facility. It costs the council around €4.7m annually to run parking services in the city, including €1.6m on payroll.
The local authority was criticised last November after councillors narrowly voted 16-15 to raise some parking charges in order to make up a €1.6m shortfall in the council’s overall budget.
As a result the cost of a resident’s annual parking permit was doubled from €10 to €20, while the cost of parking in Paul St Car Park was increased by 30 cent per hour.
Parking figures show Wednesdays have replaced Tuesdays as the weekday when motorists are more likely to be fined. They also reveal there are significantly fewer parking tickets issued on Mondays – less than half the total of fines handed out on Wednesdays last year.
More than 3,700 fines were handed out in October making it the busiest month— representing a daily average of 119. In contrast, January was the quietest month with just 2,647 fines — a daily average of 85.
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