Barnet saw London's biggest increase in the number of parking tickets dished out in 2003, according to an independent parking ticket campaigner.

Barrie Segal, who runs, a web site which manages aggrieved motorists' appeals against wrongly-issued tickets, said Barnet Council had issued 150,181 tickets in 2003 a jump of 70 per cent on the previous year's total of 88,000.

"I was astonished. They even outdid Islington and Westminster in terms of the percentage increase in the number of tickets issued," said Mr Segal.

And he repeated his view reported in this newspaper earlier this year that Barnet was the worst council in London for dealing with parking ticket matters.

In March, the parking adjudicator an independently appointed inspector who decides whether parking appeals that have been rejected by councils should be upheld or not criticised the council.

He said Barnet was failing in its statutory duty to consider each appeal on its own merits and relied too greatly on sending out standardised letters.

In the financial year 2002/3, Barnet Council made £4,373,272 from parking tickets. For the year until this April, the council estimates it made £6,050,000. It is hoping to raise this figure to £6,500,000 by April 2005.

Barnet Council decided not to comment.