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Tamworth residents cop more than $33,000 in parking fines since September


More than 258 parking fines have been issued in Tamworth CBD since parking meters were turned back on at the beginning of September.


During September and October, just over $33,000 and more than 4 fines per day have been issued according to data from Revenue NSW.


Tamworth Regional Council suspended parking meters during the COVID-19 pandemic to encourage people to visit the CBD.


The measure was originally put in place for three months, then extended for a further three before finally being repealed at a Council meeting in August.


However, during the 6 month period, 356 fines were still handed out according to data from Revenue NSW.


Ross Briggs the Manager Compliance with Tamworth Regional Council, said people were fined for overstaying the time limit.


"The payment of meter fees is what was suspended," said Mr Briggs, "But the time period that is enforced in those areas still existed."


Mr Briggs said some areas like Peel Street don't have meters although they have a shorter time limit.


"Our rangers would go through and chalk up when they first saw the vehicle," Mr Briggs said, "We did add extra leniency time onto any infringement that we issued."


April only saw 29 parking fines the lowest on record since 2013, however it was clear things were getting back to normal when 114 fines were issued in August.


The parking meters turned back on at 8:30 am on September 1st and have since caught more than 258 drivers parking without a ticket.


In the same period last year, 267 fines were issued and in 2018 just 201 were issued due to a steep decrease in fines throughout September.


In 2014 the data shows it was common for 300-400 parking fines to be issued each month.


In April 2019 Tamworth Regional Council signed up for EasyPark, a smartphone app allowing drivers to pay for parking directly from their smartphone.


Since then there has been a steady decline in the number of parking fines, suggesting the app has been successful in providing a quick and effortless way to pay for parking.


Mr Briggs said whilst he doesn't manage the app it seems like a good way for drivers to remember when their parking will run out.


"If you're stuck in meetings or appointments you can just add some more money and not have to worry about incurring a fine," Mr Briggs said.