Mr Dickson said that if the increases were really about improving parking etiquette, as suggested by the Minister for Regional Development, and not about revenue raising, then there are much better alternatives that could be considered. He cited examples of two-tier systems in England, whereby low-level offences receive a lower fine and persistent and high-level offenders receive a higher fine
Stewart Dickson MLA said: “I am very disappointed that these new higher fines have been introduced despite reservations from the Regional Development Committee over them.
“If the Minister was genuine about improving parking etiquette and about bringing about a sea-change in driving and parking habits, then he would have considered the introduction of a two-tier system and not a rise in the fines.
“Such a system would ensure that persistent offenders faced a harsher penalty then they currently do but it would also deal with those people who spend an extra few minutes in the dentist’s surgery because an appointment has overrun, or those who have to go into the bank, for example – and for whom the overzealous traffic warden is waiting in a car park or in a parking bay on the street. Those are the people whom we do not wish to see penalised any more than they are currently.
“We could also have extended the two tier system for persistent offenders, no matter the offence they commit. Those who had received three fines in a period for minor offences, for example, would receive a higher penalty.”