ON-STREET parking fines have been re-introduced without warning in Bournemouth.

Enforcement at sites with parking meters re-started on Saturday despite having been suspended due to legal difficulties since September last year.

Bournemouth council made no announcement before issuing £50 fines to drivers without valid tickets.

One warden, who did not wish to be named, described the move as “sneaky.”

Bournemouth’s traffic wardens had not issued fines to drivers parked in meter controlled zones since September 7 after an independent adjudicator upheld an appeal against a fine.

The adjudicator said he could not find a traffic regulation order requiring motorists to display tickets in their vehicles.

The council did not tell motorists enforcement was suspended and parking meters remained in use, collecting a huge £261,000 between September and December.

The suspension was reported in the Daily Echo and the council admitted enforcement was impossible at the time.

Throughout the suspension period, the council’s Service Director for Planning and Transport, Mike Holmes, urged drivers to continue to buy tickets warning that fines could be re-introduced at any time.

Now they have resumed enforcement without telling the public they were planning to do so.

Gary Powell, Parking and Traffic manager for Bournemouth council, said: “The updated traffic regulation order for on-street parking came into force on Friday January 11 with enforcement recommencing the following day.”

See all our stories on parking here