Loophole allows parking offenders to dodge fines in Dearne Valley communities

Restrictions: Wombwell High Street is a hot spot for parking offencesRestrictions: Wombwell High Street is a hot spot for parking offences
Restrictions: Wombwell High Street is a hot spot for parking offences
MORE than six out of ten motorists caught parking illegally in Dearne Valley communities are escaping without a fine, it has emerged.

Extra parking patrols are employed to cover the Wombwell, Darfield and Hoyland areas, in addition to the routine patrols organised through Barnsley Council.

They are financed through the South Area Council, a local body made up of councillors who represent that area, who have their own budget to spend on local priorities.

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One of those is extra parking enforcement, with the 18 hours of cover they previously bought in now extended to 23, so they can cover schools in the area as well as high street locations.

However, a report has shown that more than six in ten of those caught in a three month period were able to drive away because the warden who saw them was unable to issue a ticket in time.

They have a waiting time of five minutes before they are ready to issue penatly charge notices, or fines.

Latest figures reported back to councillors show that in three months a total of 384 tickets were issued, with 327 in Wombwell, 37 in Darfield and 20 in Hoyland.

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But enforcement staff also fo9und another 693 offenders where the motorist returned and drove off before a ticket could be issued. Most, 582, were in Wombwell, with 56 in Hoyland and 55 in Darfield.

A report states: “The waiting time on issuing the tickets is still at the five minute mark, which has caused problems in issuing PCNs within the area as offenders have witnessed the officer at the side of their car, noting details, and they quickly return and drive away.”

The presence of enforcement officers is seen as a visual deterrent to illegal parking, however, with officers operating on foot at school sites.

Many primary schools are affected by extreme congestion caused by parents on the ‘school run’ in cars.

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The other areas most affected by parking issues are the High Streets in both Wombwell and Hoyland, with some areas of Darfield affected.

Some residents in Darfield have complained recently at being ticketed for illegal pavement parking.

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