More than £850,000 was pocketed by a council from parking ticket fines over a one-year period. 

Durham County Council has revealed how much income it received from motorists’ Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs) as the fine hotspots throughout the county were revealed. 

The two areas which catch drivers out the most are currently camera-controlled bus gates, which the authority says were introduced to make public transport operate as efficiently and reliably as possible. 

From driving down a bus lane, overstaying an allocated time in a car park or parking on double yellow lines, Durham County Council issued 30,714 Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs) between March 2022 and 2023. 

On average, that figure translates to 84 tickets issued per day.

The bus gate on North Road is the number one hotspot for parking tickets in the county, with 4,932 tickets issued there. The worst street for parking offenses was Old Elvet, where 997 tickets were issued. Car parks at popular tourist locations like Barnard Castle and Hardwick Park in Sedgefield also featured in the top locations for parking tickets.

North Road (Bus Gate) – 4,932 tickets


North Road, near Durham railway station, is the worst location for motorists to be caught out. Running adjacent to Wharton Park, North Road is home to the Garden House pub and offers access to St Cuthbert’s Church.

A bus gate was introduced in 2017, however motorists still continue to be caught out. 

Front Street (Bus Gate) – 1,040 tickets


The bus gate on Framwellgate Moor’s Front Street, located north of Durham city centre, was fitted with Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras at the start of 2022. Though drivers were informed of this change via letter in December 2021, it doesn’t seem to have helped – 1,040 tickets were issued for drivers who passed through the bus gate. The cameras were introduced in a bid to stop motorists delaying buses. 

Old Elvet – 997 tickets


The most fine-heavy street for Durham drivers for on-street parking is Old Elvet, the street linking Whinney Hill and New Elvet, to the east of Durham city centre. Old Elvet is home to Hotel Indigo and also the Half Moon Inn. 

Galgate Car Park (Barnard Castle) – 682 tickets


Hardwick Park (Sedgefield) – 680 tickets


Cornforth Lane (Coxhoe) – 589 tickets


Cameras were added to the existing bus lane here in September 2021 following concerns from residents that motorists and traffic from the nearby primary school were ignoring restrictions. 

Howlands Park and Ride – 581 tickets


Located by the Josephine Butler and Stephenson Colleges of Durham University, Howlands Park and Ride is ideally located for a quick bus route into town, however it’s also a parking ticket hotspot. 

Claypath – 566 tickets


Claypath, the Durham city centre street leading east from the town centre to Gilesgate, is home to a number of independent businesses, many of which have Loading Only bays outside. 

The council said the income received during the one-year period will also relate to fines issued before the specific time period. 

Dave Lewin, Durham County Council’s strategic traffic manager, said: “We have a firm but fair approach to all parking and traffic enforcement and there’s a clear and well-established appeals process for anyone who wishes to challenge a Penalty Charge Notice. This includes the option of referring the case to an independent adjudicator.

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“The bus gates are on some of our busiest routes and are there to make it easier for public transport to run as reliably and punctually as possible. They are clearly marked and signed and the overwhelming majority of drivers manage to avoid using or obstructing them.

“We also carry out targeted enforcement to tackle the most serious parking offences, such as those that put people’s safety at risk or where bays designated for residents, businesses and people with disabilities are being misused, as these offences have more impact on people’s lives.

“Any surplus money raised from fines is put back into maintaining transport infrastructure across the county, including subsidising bus services or funding schemes for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians.”

Data was provided by Anglo Scottish Asset Finance.