ALMOST 23,000 parking fines have been issued in Inverclyde over the last five years according to new figures released by the area’s local authority.

Statistics compiled by Inverclyde Council show that a total of 4,779 penalty charge notices (PCNs) for parking were given out last year, an increase on the previous year’s total of 4,357.

Five-year data shows that around 23 per cent of the 22,820 tickets handed out since 2019/20 went unpaid, with 1,315 fines unrecovered last year.

Greenock’s West Blackhall Street was the most common place for fines to be issued, with 1,871 imposed on motorists over the past five financial years.

The second highest number of fines was on Kempock Street in Gourock, with the third spot being taken by the west car park near Cathcart Street.

February in 2023/24 saw the most fines issued and of the total of 4,779 issued last year 3,362 related to on-street contraventions, while a further 1,417 related to off-street parking.

Greenock has accounted for more than half of all fines issued in the last five years, with the second and third highest number of PCNs being issued in Gourock and Port Glasgow.

Over 1,200 fines handed out during 2023/24 were for motorists who stayed too long in local car parks.

More than 800 people were caught loitering on roads where no waiting restrictions were in place, while 377 drivers were fined for parking without a residents’ permit.

An Inverclyde Council spokesperson said: “Enforcement is always a last resort and we would much prefer that drivers stick to the rules but the data shows that we will take action if necessary.

“Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs) are recoverable by the council through debt recovery if unpaid. The unpaid PCNs referred to will still be within the appeal or recovery process which can take a considerable time. The vast majority of PCNs are paid eventually.”