COLCHESTER Council has recieved £18.7 million in parking fines and tickets in the past five years, a Gazette investigation has revealed.

Off-street parking income hit £3.9 million in 2017/18, a combination of penalty charge notices, pay and display charges and season tickets.

Other than in 2016/17 when income dipped, total parking earnings in Colchester are increasing.

A Colchester Council spokesman said: “Income from parking goes to the council’s general fund which supports the general operation of council car parks, power for lighting, business rates on spaces, winter maintenance and general upkeep.

“It also went towards the refurbishment of Priory Street car park, the resurfacing due at Vineyard Street, and the balance offsets other council costs.

“Income from on-street parking goes to support the work of the North Essex Parking Partnership, plus the introduction, and enforcement of, new parking schemes.”


Former mayor Julie Young reopening Priory Street car park after its refurbishment in 2017 with (from left) Simon High, senior engineer, and Matthew Young, head of operational services

Since 2013/14, the council has collected £3.7 million on average per year with pay and display making up the lion’s share of this income for borough and district councils.

A spokesman said: “The data indicates a rise in ticket sales, which reflects increasing numbers of visitors, thereby generating an increase in income.

“Tariffs have not changed markedly since 2013/14 so more income represents more tickets sold, which in turn means more visits to Colchester, Mersea and Dedham, helping to boost trade and business.”

Colchester Council also manages the North Essex Parking Partnership, which covers Colchester, Tendring, Braintree, Uttlesford and Harlow councils.

Combined, Essex councils, as well as the North Essex Parking Partnership and South Essex Parking Partnership, generated £25 million in 2017/18 for on and off-street parking.

Maldon, Southend and Thurrock councils were excluded from the analysis.

A Freedom of Information request also showed the North Essex Parking Partnership’s income has risen from £2.3 million in 2015/16 to £2.5 million the following year. In 2017/18 it was £2.7 million.

Fines account for 71 per cent of the partnership’s income on average.

But the organisation said expenditure and costs to deliver the service need to be considered when looking at any income rises.


NEPP chairman Robert Mitchell with other staff after their award for Priory Street car park. Picture: British Parking Awards.

The parking partnership’s chairman, councillor Robert Mitchell, said: “NEPP is a founding member of the Positive Parking Agenda and is committed to delivering a service which promotes and supports safe, considerate and legal parking across north Essex.

“Income generated by parking is offset against costs and expenditures to the organisation, and any remaining funds are invested in improving parking services, which includes introducing parking schemes, education programmes, communication and staff training, to name a few.

“We are also looking at a number of innovative methods to work smarter, for instance using technology to provide live parking space information and help reduce the motorists’ impact on the environment.”

Future developments will be discussed at the next joint committee meeting on Thursday at Colchester Town Hall.

Details can be found here