ANPR Cameras Catch Thousands of Illegal Parkers at Kent’s Country Parks

ANPR Cameras Catch Thousands of Illegal Parkers at Kent's Country Parks

ANPR Cameras Crack Down on Illegal Parking at Kent’s Country Parks

Visitors to Kent’s beautiful country parks have been facing hefty fines due to the implementation of advanced ANPR cameras. These cameras, installed at eight out of the nine KCC-run green spaces, have caught thousands of offenders in the past six months alone. The only exception is the White Horse Wood Country Park at Detling, near Maidstone.

According to data collected up to November 30th of last year, these cameras have resulted in 6,082 offenders receiving a £70 parking ticket. However, if paid within 14 days, the fine is halved. This has brought in a total of £38,910 in income from fines paid to the council.

In addition, legitimate parkers who pay the parking fee have raised an additional £379,606 for the council. This means that the total expected income from fines and fees for a full year is estimated to be around £837,000. KCC has stated that this money is put back into the maintenance of the parks, after the cost of the cameras is deducted.

Out of all the parks, Shorne Woods Country Park in Gravesend had the highest number of offenders, with 1,375 receiving a fine in the six-month period. First-time visitor Michael Utchanah, from Meopham, expressed surprise at the high number of fines and questioned whether the ANPR cameras were functioning correctly. He said, “If it is correct and people thought they might get away with it, then that is wrong, but the system may have made a mistake.”

Meanwhile, regular park visitor Sarah Smith was not surprised by the amount of fines. She believes that the recent rise in parking fees, from £1.20 to £3 for a day, may be causing some visitors to take a risk and not pay for parking. She also noted that the park is one of the biggest in Kent and therefore attracts a high number of visitors, which could explain the high number of fines.

At Shorne Woods, it costs £3 to park on a weekday and £4 on weekends and bank holidays. However, parking fees vary at other parks, with an average of £2 a day on weekdays and £3 a day on weekends. Season tickets are also available for those who frequent the parks often.

KCC has stated that the income from parking fines is not as high as one might expect, as not all fines are paid and the council shares the income with Euro Car Parks, which operates the parking on its behalf. After all costs are accounted for, Kent only receives 30% of the remaining income.

With the ANPR cameras in place, it is clear that visitors to Kent’s country parks need to be aware of the parking regulations and fees in order to avoid receiving a fine. So before planning your next visit to one of these beautiful green spaces, make sure to check the parking regulations and pay the necessary fees to avoid any unwanted surprises.

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