PARKING fines in East Renfrewshire will rise to £100 after the proposal secured support from councillors.

The council’s cabinet recently agreed to a plan to lift the penalty charge notice for parking contraventions from £60.

Fines will be reduced to £50 if paid by drivers within the first 14 days. An official said the increase could be brought in during October.

Council leader Owen O’Donnell said the move is “not a money-making exercise, this is at best reducing our costs to implement it”.

“This is about compliance, and ensuring better compliance,” he said, adding there hadn’t been an increase since 2001.

A report by council officials stated the increase would “deter more motorists and reoffenders, improving road safety and the local environment”.

It added councils have “raised concerns about the viability of the service with the current level of charges”, which hasn’t increased since 2001, due to “increasing operating and staff costs”.

Officials reported the service has been operating at a loss with “a deficit of £87,224, £138,672 and £71,122 in the financial years 2019/20, 2020/21 and 2021/22 respectively”.

Cllr Andrew Anderson said: “This is the right thing to do. Communication is important, that our residents understand the figures and the reasons behind this.”
Glasgow City Council announced in March that it would be increasing fines to £100.

Parking charge notices (PCN) in East Renfrewshire are processed by Glasgow’s council, which also runs the “back-office function” for East Dunbartonshire Council and North Lanarkshire Council.

The report to councillors states that it is “necessary” for all four councils to “have the same PCN charges, to ensure that payments and appeals can be processed efficiently”.

Cllr Katie Pragnell said: “I think it’s good to see that we are not the outlier here and other local authorities, especially our neighbouring ones, are implementing the same charges.”

She asked whether there were enough wardens to implement the change. An official said it is “monitored” but he believed “in time, we will need to increase numbers”.

Cllr O’Donnell also said: “It’s important to note the comments on wardens, I think we get a lot of complaints from residents on enforcement of existing regulations."

The £60 fine, reduced to £30 if paid within the first 14 days, aligned with guidance from Scottish Ministers in 2001.

However, in February, the Scottish Government said councils could raise charges to a lower level of £80 or a higher level of £100.

Over 3,600 fines were issued in East Renfrewshire in 2019/20, with a drop to just 77 in 2020/21 as a result of COVID restrictions.

The figure increased to 721 in 2021/22 and again to 2,117 in 2022/23.