Top reasons for getting parking tickets in Grimsby - and the number successfully appealed

Parking in West St Mary's Gate, Grimsby
-Credit: (Image: Donna Clifford)


Almost 2,000 parking penalty notices were handed out last year in North East Lincolnshire Council-owned car parks for not clearly having a pay and display ticket.

There were 1,885 instances of motorists being issued with penalties for either parking in car parks without a pay and display ticket, or not clearly showing it. There were also over 1,500 issued for parking in restricted streets during prescribed hours, according to Freedom of Information (FOI)-obtained data by Grimsby Live.

Eight per cent of all parking tickets issued were successfully appealed in 2023/24. A council spokesperson said the number of challenges usually increases with a rise in penalty charge notices (PCNs) issued. They are also not always cancelled because of being issued incorrectly - they may be out of goodwill, or due to valid exemptions.

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Three breach reasons saw over a thousand PCNs issued for them in 2023/24. There were 1,048 for stopping in a restricted area, outside the likes of a school or hospital. Since just before September 2022 with Signhills Academy, Cleethorpes, the council has rolled out to a number of schools CCTV enforcement cameras to discourage and fine those who stop outside schools.

The fifth most common reason was people using disabled bays without a Blue Badge. The top ten reasons people were issued with PCNs last year are below.

  1. Parked in a car park without clearly displaying a valid pay & display ticket or voucher or parking clock - 1,885 fines.

  2. Parked in a restricted street during prescribed hours - 1,541.

  3. Stopped in a restricted area outside a school, hospital or a fire, police or ambulance station when prohibited - 1,048.

  4. Parking for longer than permitted - 764.

  5. Parking in a designated disabled persons' parking place without displaying a valid disabled person's badge in the prescribed manner - 640.

  6. Parking in a residents or shared use parking place or zone without a valid virtual permit or clearly displaying a valid physical permit, voucher or pay and display ticket issued for that place where required, or without payment of the parking charge - 605.

  7. Parked or loading/unloading in a restricted street where waiting and loading/unloading restrictions are in force - 543.

  8. Parked on a taxi rank - 383.

  9. Parked in a special enforcement area adjacent to a footway, cycle track or verge lowered to meet the level of the carriageway - 374.

  10. Parked in a loaded place or bay during restricted hours without loading - 294.

In April this year alone, the top reason for getting a penalty notice was restricted street parking during prescribed hours, issued 196 times. There were 165 notices for being in a car park without a valid pay and display ticket clearly displayed. April's most common reasons also listed 24 times where vehicles were parked beyond bay markings.

Appeals

The number of PCNs successfully appealed has risen for three years, from 253 in 2021/22, to 597 in 2022/23, and to 722 last year. As of May 15, there were 46 successful appeals of April notices.

"The number of PCNs issued means the number of challenges will usually increase," said a North East Lincolnshire Council spokesperson. Charges have increased from 5,544 in 2021/22 to 8,878 last year, but this is below pre-pandemic levels.

"Whether they are successful and cancelled or upheld, will be down to many different reasons and each case is treated upon its own merit. When a challenge is successful it does not necessarily mean that the PCN was issued incorrectly. PCNs that are challenged can be cancelled out of goodwill and/or for a valid exemption," the spokesperson said. Examples of such included:

  • A pay and display ticket not displayed clearly, upside down or blown off potentially, but later evidenced.

  • Mitigating circumstances evidence provided, such as a driver being ill.

  • Evidence of loading or unloading, or a breakdown.

The spokesperson added of restricted streets with single or double yellow lines: "The lines are put in place to aid traffic flow and for safety reasons. There are limited exemptions to stopping or parking on them."

They also highlighted outside school stopping restrictions, part of the third most common reason to get a parking penalty notice last year. "No one is permitted to stop on school keep clear markings during their operational hours and in term time, limited exemptions are in place such as for emergency vehicles, being required to stop by the police or being prevented from proceeding by circumstances outside of their control. This reflects the enforcement cameras in place which can capture all vehicles who endanger a child’s life by stopping on the markings."

Garden Street car park, Grimsby, one of the top spots for parking fines
Garden Street car park, Grimsby, one of the top spots for parking fines -Credit:Donna Clifford/GrimsbyLive

Parking penalty revenue is mostly put back into enforcement. "Any surplus is ringfenced by legalisation which limits what it can be spent on, and the revenue breakdown is published on the council website," the council spokesperson stated.