A CRACKDOWN on motorists flouting parking laws around Sunderland Royal Hospital has led to hundreds of tickets being issued.
Parking zones were introduced in Millfield, Pallion and Barnes in December after people living in the area had battled for years to put an end to traffic problems.
As a result, 1,066 tickets were slapped on cars that were in breach of the rules in the first three months of the new scheme, each costing £60 to pay off.
Susan Adamson, of St Gabriel’s Estate, is chairman of the Barnes, Pallion and Millfield Residents’ Association.
She said: “As far as the residents in the scheme are concerned, we’ve had nothing but positive feedback.
“We are all delighted with it.
“The council started issuing warnings in December to people who were parking and the signs are very good, so people should know not to do it.
“We are working with the council on how to extend the scheme further for more streets.”
The parking zone that received the most tickets was the one running along Kayll Road, which received 866 fines.
There have also been 207 free permits issued, 40 blue badges and 51 visitor permits.
Barnes councillor Lee Martin – whose mum Susan was among those to receive a fine – said: “I think the council will have collected enough in fines in the first three months to finance the entire residents’ parking scheme for a year.
“I’d expect the number of tickets being issued to fall as people become more aware of the scheme and realise that the council are enforcing the restrictions.
“Getting the hospital to take responsibility for the parking misery it caused local residents was impossible before they realised the residents’ scheme was actually going to happen at last.”
In February, City Hospitals Sunderland announced its intention to build a multi-storey car park on the Sunderland Royal site.
The new 425-space building is estimated to cost £6million and is expected to be ready by summer 2013.
Coun Paul Watson, leader of Sunderland City Council, said: “The scheme continues to operate well and ongoing monitoring of parking in the surrounding areas and streets continues to be carried out.
“A recent survey indicated that on-street parking has decreased not only in the streets affected by the scheme, but also in some of the adjacent streets, which has provided additional kerb space for parking.
“As with any new parking permit scheme, it is to be expected there will be an initial surge in Penalty Charge Notices issued.
“This number is steadily decreasing as members of the public become more aware of the scheme.”