| 6.9°C Dublin

Parking storm wardens have to meet target

TRAFFIC wardens in Dun Laoghaire operate under a quota system, meaning they have to fine a certain number of motorists every day, it has been claimed.

It comes after complaints from residents and business owners that over-zealous officials were issuing too many parking fines.

Labour councillor Stephen Fitzpatrick told the Herald the wardens "are all on a quota".

"They have to reach a certain amount of fines every day," Mr Fitzpatrick added.

The council last year raised €6.2m in parking fees and fines -- up 50pc on the previous year.

Almost all the revenue came from commercial areas such as Dun Laoghaire and Blackrock.

Mr Fitzpatrick said if the quota target is high it might be "leading to a situation" whereby wardens are being "too aggressive" in their duties.

"If there is a legitimate concern that they are aggressive, the council needs to speak to the company," the councillor added.

Two new parking inspectors have been hired as well.



Quota

However, parking enforcement company APCOA, which has been hired by Dun Laoghaire/Rathdown County Council to monitor parking, said there is no "set quota" on ticket requirements.

It enforces parking "in accordance with council rules".

"We implement a fair and equitable enforcement regime which applies throughout the council area.

"This includes generous grace periods for pay and display parking which is clearly notified on each machine."

Mr Fitzpatrick said the main issue is that there are "not enough" car parking spaces in Dun Laoghaire.

However, he warned against "blowing out of proportion" the parking difficulties. "People are being put off (shopping in the town) because of the negative publicity," he added.

The 2010 figure of €6.2m for parking fines and fees was revealed in documents obtained by Independent Cllr Victor Boyhan.

The council said the primary objective of its parking enforcement policy is to "ensure parking compliance in relation to illegal parking".

It also denied there was a quota system.

hnews@herald.ie