Council left unable issue parking fines in Hartlepool - because it ran out of tickets

Park Road car park. Picture by FRANK REID
Park Road car park. Picture by FRANK REID

Council bosses have admitted they have been unable to issue parking fines for a week in Hartlepool - after running out of tickets.

The authority ran out of parking tickets last week after finding its usual supplier had gone into liquidation and a new company was unable to deliver on time.

Councillor James Black

Councillor James Black

The council manages over 2,000 parking spaces across the town and income from charges and fines is worth around £1.3million a year.

Based on previously puiblished figures it is estimated around £100,000 a year is collected in fines - an average of around £2,000 a week.

Instead of receiving parking fines, drivers who have failed to pay and display or broke parking rules have been let off with warnings.

A Hartlepool Borough Council spokesman said: “Unfortunately, our regular supplier of printed Penalty Charge Notice tickets has gone into liquidation, something officers were not aware of until they tried to place a repeat order.

“Officers found a new company and placed an order on Thursday 17th May and were advised that delivery would be made within 10 days.

“Unfortunately, this did not happen and we ran out of tickets on Wednesday 30th May. Following further conversations, we have now been reassured that delivery of new tickets will take place by Wednesday 6th June.

“It should be noted that this has only affected Penalty Charge Notices served on vehicles and officers have still been able to issue penalties for the environmental elements of our work, including dog fouling and littering.”

The issue was brought to light by a visitor to Seaton Carew’s Sandy car park who received one of the warnings after not buying a ticket due to a lack of change.

An enforcement officer later told the man, who did not wish to be named, the council had run out of tickets.

Councillor James Black, who represents Seaton where seasonal parking charges are now in force said: “Unfortunately these things do happen when reliance is placed on a single company to provide a service.

“It doesn’t happen often, but it does happen. What is pleasing is that enforcement continued to place notices on vehicles who were illegally parked during this period, so although these individuals were ‘let off’ on this occasion, they were still reminded of the rules, and this will hopefully deter them in the future from parking illegally.”