FIFE COUNCIL raked in £605,000 from parking fines last year with 5,382 penalty charge notices issued in Dunfermline alone.

And they’ve suggested that a drop in the number of visits to primary schools – where they’re forced to respond to requests from headteachers to deal with illegal or dangerous parking by parents – means the situation could be improving.

Ken Gourlay, head of assets, transportation and environment, said: “Parents parking on ‘School Keep Clear’ markings is still a recurring problem, although the number of requests for attendance at schools has decreased over the last few years, despite a reminder to headteachers, which could indicate that there are less problems than before.”

An update was given to councillors last week with 21,768 Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs) dished out to errant motorists in Fife in 2018-19.

The number of fines issued in Dunfermline have increased steadily from 3,553 in 2013-14 to 5,382 last year.

Kirkcaldy saw the most PCNs in 2018-19, followed by St Andrews.

Dunfermline was next, followed by Inverkeithing with 749 fines.

Across West Fife, there were 82 fines issued in both Rosyth and Aberdour, 34 in Kelty, 28 in Dalgety Bay, 26 each at Halbeath and Kincardine, 17 in Crossgates, seven in Cairneyhill and six in North Queensferry.

Most were for the non-purchase or non-display of a valid pay and display ticket, parking beyond the permitted time and for parking on double yellow lines.

A significant number were also handed out for misuse of loading bays and disabled bays.

There were 2,157 successful appeals last year while 1,614 fines were written off by sheriff officers.

Mr Gourlay said: “It is important to note that the number of PCNs issued does not fully reflect the activities of the parking attendants.

“They do not have booking targets to achieve, this being a common misconception with some members of the public.

“The parking attendant’s primary role is to ensure motorists comply with the various regulations in Fife.”

At schools, there were 181 visits by parking attendants and 31 fines issued.

His report said: “The main issue in terms of enforcement is that parents tend to be sitting in their vehicles and move when the parking attendants appear so that only a few PCNs have been issued for this offence.

“However, the presence of parking attendants and police officers at schools continues to have a beneficial effect in educating parents to prevent re-occurrence.”

The West Fife primary schools visited most often in 2018-19 were Dalgety Bay and Duloch, with six visits each, followed by Crossgates with five and four each for Commercial, Pittencrieff and St Leonard’s.

Donibristle, Lynburn and Townhill were each visited three times.

The council has been responsible for enforcing the majority of parking and waiting regulations – on- and off-street – since April 2013. Previously, on-street enforcement was carried out by the police.

The team, based in Glenrothes, consists of 19 parking attendants, three parking supervisors, a parking co-ordinator and an appeals technician.

The focus of “enforcement activity” is in Dunfermline, Kirkcaldy and St Andrews, where the vast majority of parking regulations and charged parking bays exist, although other towns and villages are patrolled regularly.

While fines brought in £605,000, the cost of the enforcement operation last year topped £1 million and there’s a warning that, while the council supports new legislation which will ban double parking and parking on pavements, it will “place additional demands on an already-stretched parking enforcement service”.