PARKING charges and fines generated more than £3 million for Fife Council last year.

The local authority raked in £586,000 from fines and collected £2.7m of income through charged parking areas across the Kingdom, with Dunfermline drivers heavy offenders.

A total of 21,790 penalty charge notices (PCN) were issued by Fife parking attendants (PA) in 2017/18, a 7.6% increase on the previous year.

Ken Gourlay, Head of Assets, Transportation & Environment. said: “It is important to note that the number of PCN’s issued does not fully reflect the activities of the PA’s and that PA’s do not have booking targets to achieve, this being a common misconception with some members of the public.

“The increase in PCN’s issued can be attributed to sustained staffing levels, more efficient beats/allocation of staff and the continued enforcement of Sunday charging, which was introduced in January 2017.”

The “vast majority” of offences were in urban areas such as Dunfermline, which ranked third in the locations with the most penalty charge notices issued.

Drivers in the town were given 5,423 fines in a year, a rise of 12% on the previous 12 months.

Notices have increased every year in the town since 2013/14, which recorded a figure of 3,553 fines. Inverkeithing motorists were also guilty of collecting a high number of fines, with 993 registered in 2017/18.

Mr Gourlay said: “The expenditure to operate, manage and maintain roads and transportation car parking facilities amounted to £2.642m in 2017/18.

“Of which, an expenditure of £748,000 was accrued in delivering the enforcement operation, which includes costs for staff, transport, back office and the adjudication service.

“The income generated from parking fines amount to £586,000.

“The enforcement operation is integral to ensuring compliance within charged parking areas which had an income of £2.702m. The remaining element of income within car parking arises from rents and other charges.”

Fife Council’s Parking and Management Team are based in Glenrothes, and consists of 18 parking attendants, three parking supervisors, a parking co-ordinator and an appeals technician.”

Mr Gourlay also praised staff for dealing with “upset individuals” in a professional manner in-person and during “very difficult telephone calls”.

He said: “In the face of such challenging behaviour the team has remained resilient and maintains a fair and consistent approach to all of its customers. While the use of body CCTV units as well as the use of conflict management techniques helps to reduce the incidences of anti-social behaviour directed towards PA’s, this does still happen.”

He said patrol areas are regularly reviewed with parking attendants benefitting from new radios and handheld devices to enable real-time penalty charge notices with photos of the offence committed.

Customers can now also pay their fine or appeal the charge instantly rather than wait 24 hours.