PARKING tickets issued in one Uttoxeter street have dramatically dropped by more than 800 per cent in the space of just a year with drivers more aware of the time while using the car parks, new statistics have revealed.
The staggering decrease emerged after a Freedom Of Information (FOI) request submitted by the Advertiser to East Staffordshire Borough Council revealed the hotspots across the town where motorists are being caught out.
In Carter Street alone only three tickets were issued before September 16 this year compared to a whopping 19 in 2012 for people parked in a restricted street during prescribed hours.
Over in Balance Street 23 people fell victim to the parking warden last year, whereas this year motorists have been more cautious with only three people receiving the dreaded ticket so far for parking vehicles for longer than permitted.
Market Place saw 17 people park in a restricted street during prescribed hours last year compared to just six flouting the restriction this year.
Streets in Rocester have also seen an increase with 17 people caught parked in a restricted zone last year whereas only six have been caught so far this year.
People have also been more careful when parking in the town’s car park after another dramatic drop in tickets issued for not displaying a valid parking ticket.
Last year alone, 76 tickets were issued to drivers parked in the Maltings compared to just two this year and 42 tickets were issued at Uttoxeter Leisure Centre car park in 2012 compared to seven so far.
Trinity Road car park also saw a drop from 25 in 2012 to three so far in 2013.
The Maltings also saw a drop of more than 110 people caught parked after the expiry time on the ticket from 116 in 2012 to just three so far this year.
However, not every street has seen less penalty charge notices issued this year compared to 2012.
In Station Street, Rocester, one more person has been caught parked for longer than permitted this year with three months still remaining of the year – with nine this year and eight in 2012.
An East Staffordshire Borough Council spokesman said: “Overall there has been a general reduction in the number of PCNs issued for both on-street and off-streets – this reflects greater levels of compliance by motorists when parking their vehicles.
“There are though some areas where motorists continue to contravene parking restrictions and run the risk of having a PCN issued.
“A small number of streets therefore may show an increase in the number of PCNs being issued and this reflects the number of contraventions that have occurred.”
However, Jerry Latham, of the Uttoxeter Community Action Group, said more still needed to be done in terms of parking to entice shoppers back into the town centre.
He said: “I think the biggest specific problem is the Maltings as one or more of the machines are not in use the majority of the time and the borough council doesn’t seem to be taking it seriously.
"No wonder the traders are struggling at the moment.
“There really ought to be free parking in the morning or afternoon particularly for residents. Why can’t we have a residents card which offers us a period of free parking I do not understand as it would increase trade in the town centre.
“They could limit the period of time to maybe one or two hours or just for certain days of the week."