Just the ticket

PUBLISHED: 11:27 19 January 2006 | UPDATED: 09:27 06 May 2010

Have you been cuaght by the wardens?

Have you been cuaght by the wardens?

HAPLESS motorists have forked out well over half a million pounds in fines since parking attendants appeared on the streets of North Herts a year ago this week. In the 12 months, about 17,000 tickets were handed out across the district. And the majority o

HAPLESS motorists have forked out well over half a million pounds in fines since parking attendants appeared on the streets of North Herts a year ago this week.

In the 12 months, about 17,000 tickets were handed out across the district.

And the majority of people caught parking illegally promptly paid up the minimum £30 to avoid a higher charge.

Some of those given tickets became abusive and the police had to be called on a couple of occasions.

But mostly people accepted their fate although there was a wide range of excuses including weak bladders, pregnancy and medical conditions..

One said they had forgotten they had driven into town and caught the bus home.

Another produced a death certificate in a bid to get out of paying.

"There has to be a compassionate side," said a council spokesman.

"We do get abusive people but we also get a lot of nice comments and even the occasional thank you letter. As for excuses, if you can think of anything we have heard it."

There was a long break between Herts Police stopping its traffic warden service and North Herts District Council introducing parking attendants.

Particularly badly affected by having no controls on parking was Hitchin town centre where shopkeepers and residents complained loudly about traffic chaos. Now there is a team of 12 attendants patrolling the area..

The council-run scheme is self-financing and has more than paid for itself.

Cllr Richard Thake, portfolio holder for planning and transport, said: "This is a great success story for the council. Nearly everyone has welcomed the parking attendants and we have set up a successful scheme that covers its costs and has ended months of parking chaos."

Following the success of the enforcement measures the council is undertaking a full review of waiting restrictions and residents' parking across the district to see which are appropriate and if any need changing.

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