The £60 penalty scheme is scheduled to start in late September.

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09.06.2014

£60 fines approved to tackle selfish motorists abusing Park and Ride

Commuters who park badly at railway stations across the West Midlands are to receive £60 fines.

Centro, the region's transport authority, is to introduce the penalties from September at all 54 of its free to use Park and Ride sites.

The crackdown follows a spate of incidents that have left scores of motorists blocked in.

Offenders will have 28 days to pay the fine or see it double to £120, but will have the right to appeal.

Cllr Roger Horton, Centro lead member for rail, said the move was not a money-making measure.

He said: "It is being done to tackle a serious problem - some of the parking we have seen has been, quite frankly, atrocious.

"The actions of a selfish few cause great inconvenience for the many passengers who park responsibly.

"Park and Ride has been a real success story in encouraging people to use public transport and a minority of people can't be allowed to detract from it."

The clampdown on inconsiderate motorists will see two parking officers working for a private company patrol park and ride sites using handheld ticket machines.

All money raised from parking tickets will go towards the costs of the running the enforcement scheme.

The Park and Ride sites have proved so popular many of them are full before 8am on working days.

This has led to repeated incidents of people parking on grass verges, pavements, double yellow lines or in disabled bays because there were no spaces available.

On one occasion at Cradley Heath 170 cars were blocked in for three hours as a result of a line of vehicles parked outside of marked bays. On another, 80 correctly-parked vehicles were blocked in by just one car.

Similar problems have occurred at car parks in Rowley Regis, Coseley, Wolverhampton Priestfield, Wednesbury Parkway, Selly Oak and Northfield in Birmingham, and Whitlock's End near Shirley.

In 2013 there were 80 recorded complaints, and in a two month monitoring scheme in January and February this year Centro received 20 complaints.

Centro and its partners have invested more than £15 million in expanding and managing Park and Ride facilities since 1997.

It has more than 7,000 spaces at 54 sites serving 40 railway stations and four Midland Metro tram stops across the region, taking around three million journeys off the region's roads each year, reducing carbon dioxide emissions by more than 6,000 tonnes.

Cllr Horton said: "Of course it is frustrating when you can't find a parking space but people just cannot be allowed to park where they like.

"If motorists are going to use Park and Ride we would urge them to plan their journeys accordingly."

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