One in every nine parking tickets issued in Dundalk is overturned.
1,538 parking tickets issued in Dundalk in the last two years have been successfully challenged by motorists, new statistics obtained by the Dundalk Democrat have revealed.
Between March 2016 and the 31st of December 2017, a total of 14,040 parking tickets were issued in the town by traffic wardens working for Louth County Council.
However, it has been revealed that 1,538 of those have been successfully challenged – and subsequently cancelled - by motorists who have appealed the decision.
That represents 11% of all tickets, meaning roughly one parking ticket in every nine issued in Dundalk is successfully overturned.
Perhaps even more interestingly, of the 12,050 non-cancelled tickets that were issued in Dundalk in that period – 9,078 were still yet to be paid as of December 31st last – 75% of the total.
Across County Louth, the local authority has made €814,250 in revenue from parking tickets since the beginning of 2015. In their 2018 Budget, it was estimated that the council would bring in just under €2.3 million in parking charges and fines in 2018.
However, those estimates rely on payment of fines issued and current figures released to this newspaper show that the non-payment of fines is an issue for the local authority.
Due to the council switching to a new service provider – the Globetech Traffic Management System in early 2016, figures for the number of tickets issued in that year are only available from March onwards.
Numbers of parking tickets issued in 2015 are also not available due to the change of service provider.
In Drogheda, 15,406 parking tickets were issued between March 2016 and the end of last year – of which 1,016 were cancelled, a rate of 6.6%.
The above figures have been obtained by the Dundalk Democrat via a Freedom of Information request lodged with Louth County Council.
Earlier this month, it was revealed that parking charges in Drogheda were to be suspended for a period of around three months, citing that the bye-laws in place in the town were legally "unsatisfactory."
The decision came after an appeal from a member of the public questioning the legal validity of the bye-laws. After the council received legal counsel on the matter, they chose to adopt new bye- laws which are expected to be ready to be considered by June.
In a statement, council Chief Executive Joan Martin confirmed there would be a loss of revenue over that period. "I estimate that the Council will suffer a reduction of at least €300,000 in its income over that three month period," she said.
Louth County Council confirmed that legal advice was sought in relation to the bye-laws in Dundalk and found they were legal.
While pay-parking charges remain suspended in Drogheda for now, 4,268 pay parking fines handed out in the town between March 1st 2016 and the end of 2017 remained unpaid by the start of this year.
That represents just under 28% of the total - meaning tickets issued in Drogheda are much more likely to be paid than those imposed in Dundalk.
Fixed Charges apply to parking and traffic fines imposed by the council. Depending on the offences, charges can increase by between €20 and €40 if not paid within 28 days.