More than half of parking fines in Telford issued to just two streets
More than half of all the parking fines handed out by police between 2017 and 2019 in Telford and Wrekin were on just two streets near the town centre.
Ironmasters Way, home to borough council headquarters Addenbrooke House, a major HMRC office, a Mercure Hotel and other businesses, is just 200 metres away from Telford Central railway station and saw 23 £30 fines issued in 2017-18, according to figures released by West Mercia Police under the Freedom of Information Act.
Forty-nine tickets were issued that year to cars on Boyd Close, a short lane between Ironmasters Way and Rampart Way, and a further 68 in 2018-19. A total of 262 notices were issued by police over the two-year period, of which 85 – worth £2,550 – went unpaid.
A spokesman for Telford and Wrekin Council said its civil parking enforcement (CPE) officers will be able to react to illegal parking more effectively than the police can, once the powers are handed over on next year.
The Telford Plaza complex, which houses Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs across 13 floors of two buildings, and the four-star Mercure Telford Centre Hotel stand either side of Ironmasters Way’s junction with Forge Gate.
HMRC spokesman Nick McCarthy said staff and visitors are advised about safe and legal parking.
“HMRC does not provide general commuter parking for employees save for those with accessibility needs, nor do we provide visitor parking,” he added.
“For sites that have capacity, such as Telford, we do permit a small number of staff to park on site. The allocation of these limited spaces is done using a fair and open system.”
He added that employees are encouraged to walk, cycle and use public transport where possible.
Brendon Stockwell, a spokesman for Mercure parent company Accor, said their hotel is “well-served for parking”, which is monitored by cameras and free to employees and registered guest, and “a significant proportion of our visitors arrive by public transport”.
A council spokesman said the authority regularly reviews employee parking needs to provide sufficient employee spaces, and both Addenbrooke and nearby Darby House provide visitor spaces.
Boyd Close is a short street, less than 100 metres in length, between Ironmasters Way and Rampart Way. On some maps it is alternatively known as Bishton Court, and a building by that name stands on it. Bishton Court is owned by Telford and Wrekin Council, but most of the space on it is let to other tenants.
The council spokesman added: “The locations referred to are also close to Telford town centre and Telford Central Station, both of which attract parking charges.
“Some drivers may attempt to park on Ironmasters Way or Boyd Close to avoid these parking charges.”
West Mercia Police are currently responsible for punishing illegal on-street parking, but that power is due to be transferred by the government to Telford and Wrekin Council on January 31, 2020.
The council spokesman said: “Under CPE the council will be able to react to illegal parking more effectively, based on our observations and issues raised to the authority, as dedicated officers will be in place with a large part of their role dedicated to parking enforcement.
“We understand West Mercia Police have not been able to direct this kind of resource to parking enforcement activities.”
Figures released by West Mercia Police reveal that 112 offences were recorded in 2017-18 and 150 in 2018-19. There is no information about the identities of the offenders, nor their reason for visiting the area.
In both years, the most common offence was “allowing a vehicle to wait on a road where waiting was prohibited”, with 137 cases altogether. Fifty-two people were caught “causing an unnecessary obstruction”, 20 people exceeded waiting time limits and seven people parked in disabled spaces without a permit.
The standard fine is £30. In 2017-18, 70 fines, totalling £1,260, went unpaid. The following year 43 notices, totalling £1,290, were not settled.
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