SENIOR figures in Dorset have written to the government calling for tougher sanctions for parking fines during the summer months. 

Dorset’s Police and Crime Commissioner and the leaders of both BCP Council and Dorset Council have penned a letter to the transport secretary Mark Harper MP asking for a rise in the cost of fines. 

If approved, motorists could being charged up to £150 if fined, with a discount to £100 if paid early. 

As it stands, parking fines are limited to no more than £100 based on guidance from the government, with fines varying from £50 to £70 or halved if paid within two weeks.

As reported, BCP Council dished out a staggering 43,771 parking tickets for various rule breaking this summer, which was a 40 per cent year-on-year increase.

Dorset Echo: Parking at Bournemouth East Overcliff. Picture: John GrundyParking at Bournemouth East Overcliff. Picture: John Grundy

Dorset PCC David Sidwick said: “Once again, we find ourselves entering a summer period when Dorset’s population triples and many visit our beaches and beauty spots.  

“We’ve seen in past years that the current fines are not enough to deter the anti-social and illegal parking that increases congestion and, in some cases, poses a risk to people’s lives.  

Read more: Public react to Bournemouth East Cliff illegal parking

“I will continue to lobby government for tougher consequences for such irresponsible and selfish behaviour.” 

Last summer saw much of BCP’s coastal roads blocked by cars, with emergency services struggling to get through. 

Dorset Echo: Dorset PCC David SidwickDorset PCC David Sidwick (Image: Daily Echo)

Cllr Phil Broadhead, leader of BCP Council, said the conurbation has “ample” parking to accommodate the thousands of tourists visiting, but “too many decide to ignore good practice and clog our up roads with illegal parking”. 

Read more: Residents fume at 'nightmare' parking situation near Poole Hospital

He added: “Our seasonal response efforts over the last few years has made a real impact on this, but we remain hampered by the inadequacy of the government mandated limit on fines for these offences.  

“A change in this legislation to reflect the flexibility that London has would make a critical difference to ensuring that we can enforce considerate parking.” 

Dorset Echo: BCP Council leader Phil BroadheadBCP Council leader Phil Broadhead (Image: Daily Echo)

Dorset Council leader, Cllr Spencer Flower, said: “On behalf of Dorset Council, I fully support this call for tougher parking fines.  

“Illegal parking at Dorset beauty spots causes major risk to public safety, as well as inconvenience and frustration for local residents. I implore the secretary of state to heed our call.”