Revealed: Ulster hotspots for car parking tickets
Wardens hand out 450 a day but enforcement chief denies bonuses
Ulster's parking ticket hotspots have been revealed - and it's not good news if you're a driver in the west.
Since the responsibility for parking enforcement transferred from the PSNI to the Department for Regional Development (DRD) on October 30 last year, its agents have handed out more than 140,000 parking tickets.
And DRD insists there is no truth in the idea that traffic wardens have ticket targets and receive bonuses for issuing more.
Since NCP Services started enforcing restrictions on behalf of DRD, 143,564 tickets were handed out between November 13, 2006 and September 30, 2007.
That works out to just under 450 tickets per day.
And while, as might be expected, drivers in the main cities of Belfast and Londonderry bore the brunt of the enforcement, with 38,001 and 17,245 tickets respectively, motorists in Enniskillen and Omagh are also feeling the pain.
A breakdown of the tally per town reveals that Enniskillen was the third-highest at 9,108 tickets, closely tailed by Omagh with 6,068 tickets and Ballymena with 5,531.
In June this year, it was revealed that Ulster's two most diligent traffic wardens were based in Enniskillen, with one handing out a total of 2,590 tickets from mid-November 2006 and the other dishing out 1,626.
More than 4,000 tickets have been handed out in each of the towns of Lisburn, Coleraine, Portadown and Strabane. Bottom of the table was Ballyclare with 780 tickets, Portstewart with 807 and Portrush with 910.
DRD, which published the latest tally yesterday, added that 5,035 warning notices were issued to illegally parked vehicles in the two-week run-up to November 13 as part of a public awareness campaign to highlight the new enforcement operation.
Simon Richardson, DRD's road service parking enforcement manager, said: " We have had several requests from the public regarding the number of parking tickets issued since Roads Service took control in October last year and we are happy to openly provide these figures.
"We realise some people believe that traffic attendants have ticket targets and get paid bonuses for issuing more tickets. I can assure you this is not the case.
"Our aim is not to issue tickets but rather to encourage people to park properly.
"Illegal parking causes disruption to traffic and sometimes poses a safety threat to road users. It can also cause major difficulties for Blue Badge holders and delivery drivers trying to deliver their goods.
"I would therefore encourage all drivers to be aware of the parking restrictions and abide by them at all times."