More than four times as many parking tickets have been over the last 12 months compared to the previous year in Moray as the council aims to get tough on offenders.
Motorists flaunting rules have been warned there is now “no excuse” for failing to pay up following a shake-up of fees in Elgin.
Figures released by Moray Council show wardens issued 486 fines in 2017/18, a dramatic increase on the 117 for 2016/17.
The jump means cash raked in for the local authority from the penalties has jumped from £6,555 to a possible £26,490.
Councillors have now approved a rise of nearly a quarter in the basic fine, from £65 to £80.
And the sum offending motorists will have to stump up if they pay within two weeks will rise by 50%, from £40 to £60.
John Cowe, chairman of the council’s economic development committee, hopes the new price will act as a deterrent.
He said: “I’m not at all surprised that the number of tickets has gone up. Indiscriminate parking is known to be a problem in Elgin.
“There’s no excuses now though. If people thought it was too expensive before then there’s a big multi-storey at Batchen Lane where we’ve reduced it to £1 for the whole day, on top of Lossie Green where it was already that price.
“I know there have been complaints about on-street parking too – but these changes are just the first phase of a strategy that might have new elements in the future.”
The totals only include fines issued by the council for illegal parking in car parks maintained by the authority, including those for not buying a pay-and-display ticket and for staying too long in a bay.
The amount of unpaid fines outstanding has also risen in Moray from nearly £3,000 to £11,700. The worst offender accrued 20 penalties, totalling £1,300.
Yesterday, Elgin City South councillor John Divers welcomed the crackdown on offenders ignoring the rules.
He said: “When I saw only 117 had been issued in a year I thought ‘What’s going on here?’ – that’s only about two a week.
“I think where we are at now gives a better scale of the problem because we know illegal parking goes on all the time in Elgin.
“I fully approve of the changes to make it £1 a day at Batchen Lane but it will do nothing to alleviate on-street issues at the railway station.”
A revamp of parking fees in Elgin was finalised last week, which will include charging for spaces in Cooper Park and at the train station for the first time.