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Figures show significant increase in parking fines in Frome

PARKING fines in Frome are on the rise as Somerset County Council reveal to Frome Times the total amount collected from motorists in Frome from the last three years, with this year already totalling over £20,000. 

Last issue,  Frome Times reported of the concern from several town businesses who felt that parking wardens are being overzealous and targeting motorists returning late to their vehicles in car parks across the town. 

As a result, Frome Times put in a Freedom of Information request to Somerset County Council for the  total amount of fines collected each calendar year from 2015. 

The results of Frome Times’ request for information has quickly been used by other media groups, including the Frome Standard and the BBC. 

Somerset County Council said that the total fines collected in 2015 was £18,135,  jumping to £22,326.17 in 2016, before more than doubling in 2017 totally £59,779.06. The current fines this year, to 15th August, is £20,219. 

The county council previously said that the car parking revenue is not profit,  but is invested back into road safety and traffic management schemes.

Frome Times asked Somerset County Council to explain the  jump in car parking fines collected between 2016 and 2017.  

The county council responded, “As the figures show, there has been an increase in the number of penalties served in Frome. During 2017 we increased the level of patrols within Frome to improve the management of parking areas. Due to the continued contravention of the restrictions by some drivers the numbers of penalties have increased. Inappropriate parking can be dangerous, increases congestion and pollution, we would urge all drivers to respect the restrictions to avoid receiving a penalty.”

Local people have commented on social media that the council should stop targeting car parks and deal with the more pressing issue of illegal parking on double yellow lines, dropped curbs and parking too close to junctions. 

Neil Sheppard commented, “Rather than fining people in car parks who are late back by a few minutes, an absolute fortune can be made if these wardens wandered around the town and ticketed cars parked illegal on double yellows, blocking dropped kerbs or too close to junctions.” 

Vikki Milverton agreed, expressing her concern that such parking are an  accident waiting to happen, especially when large events, such as The Frome Independent Market, are being staged the town. 

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