MORE than 15,000 parking tickets have been handed out to motorists across Bournemouth since the beginning of April.

Traffic wardens have issued an average of 116 charges a day over the last four months earning Bournemouth council hundreds of thousands of pounds.

So far this financial year, 15,081 parking charge notices have been handed out on behalf of the council – a rise of more than 1,000 from the same period in 2017.

A smaller number has been issued by Poole council with 6,098 issued since the beginning of April with £116,000 collected in fines.

More than 30,000 tickets are issued to drivers in Bournemouth every year, most for parking in restricted areas, and about 10 per cent are cancelled.

In 2016/17 Old Christchurch Road was the most common area for drivers being handed fines followed by Christchurch Road and Richmond Hill.

Depending on the seriousness of the restrictions, the council’s parking fines are either £50 or £70 which is halved if paid within 14 days.

Research by the RAC Foundation published last year found that the council made the 34th-highest surplus from its parking operations of all local authorities. The authority made a profit of more than £6m in 2016/17 through car park fees and issuing tickets and permits.

Income from pay and display charges makes up the largest share of income for Bournemouth council, earning almost £7.5m over the 12 months.

Nationally, councils reported surpluses of more than £800m – a 10 per cent rise on the figure for the previous year.

RAC Foundation director, Steve Gooding, said: “The upward path in profits is in part a reflection of the record number of cars and volume of traffic.

“The silver lining for drivers is that these surpluses must almost exclusively be ploughed back into transport and as any motorist will tell you there is no shortage of work to be done.”

Bournemouth council’s latest parking services annual report says: “The surplus received through parking charges is used to improve car parking facilities, facilitate public passenger transport as well as improvements to the town’s road network, all of which benefit motorists, both visitors and residents.”