More than 8,000 parking tickets have been handed out to motorists in west Suffolk alone this year, with car parks in Newmarket and Bury St Edmunds amongst the places where drivers have received the most fines. 

A total of 8,392 tickets were handed out across the 37 West Suffolk Council-owned car parks between the start of the year and the first week of December, meaning the council has taken £215,382.26 in penalty charge notices alone so far in 2023. 

This is a large increase on 2022, when 7,731 notices were given coming to £199,999.83, and an even bigger increase on 2021 which saw 6,095 fines dished out coming in at £156,344.56.

This year, the car park where the highest number of penalty charge notices were given out was Rous Road Car Park in Newmarket. Here, 922 drivers have been hit with fines. 

Some 886 tickets were given out in Cattle Market Car Park, Bury St Edmunds, while 587 fines were distributed in Guineas Multi-Storey Car Park in Newmarket. 

Meanwhile, 529 notices were received by users of Ram Meadow Car Park in Bury St Edmunds, while 482 were fined in Market Square Car Park, Newmarket, and 475 were fined in St Andrews Street Long Stay Car Park, Bury St Edmunds. 

East Anglian Daily Times: The Cattlemarket car park in Bury St EdmundsThe Cattlemarket car park in Bury St Edmunds (Image: Google Maps)

The car parking sites where the lowest number of parking tickets were handed out this year include West Stow Country Park, with just four, and Heldhaw Road Car Park at Moreton Hall, Bury St Edmunds, with five. 

East Anglian Daily Times: The Guineas car park in NewmarketThe Guineas car park in Newmarket (Image: Google maps)

Cabinet member for operations Cllr David Taylor said that since the pandemic there has been a gradual increase in people using car parks in the district with thousands visiting every day and the vast majority paying correctly.

"Car parking tariffs help to manage the turnover of spaces to help support town centres, leisure centres and other locations that we manage, ensuring that there are places for visitors to park as well as ensuring spaces are available for town centre workers," he said.

"Parking fines are only given out to a minority of people who break the rules which are designed to make it easier for everyone to park or find a space.

"The income from both car park tariffs and fines is used to pay for the management and upkeep of our car parks, the business rates costs associated with them that stand at over £1m, as well as to support wider transport related initiatives and to maintain our town centres such as cleaning, street furniture, and CCTV."