NEARLY 500 Parking Charge Notices (PCNs) were handed out in North Ayrshire in just the first two weeks of enforcement.

The figure was revealed, alongside how much revenue has been made from this, at a full meeting of North Ayrshire Council on Wednesday, May 15.

The figure arose after Conservative councillor Matthew McLean questioned SNP cabinet member Cllr Tony Gurney, asking for an update on Decriminalised Parking Enforcement (DPE) in the county.

Parking attendants officially began handing out PCNs on April 15, with Cllr Gurney providing figures for the first two weeks of enforcement, up until the end of last month.

From the start date until April 30, a total of 497 PCNs were issued throughout North Ayrshire.

The charge is set at £100, though is reduced by half if paid within the first 14 days of the fine being issued.

This allowed Cllr Gurney to reveal that 218 PCNs have been paid this far, of those handed out, all paid at the lower rate. This means the council have made £10,900 from DPE during this period.

Cllr McLean also questioned the SNP cabinet member on overdue fines, though was informed that not enough time had elapsed for any PCNs to be overdue as of yet.

Cllr McLean said: "What is the council's plan with tickets which have not or may not be paid?

"There have been a number of erroneous assumptions made online that these fines are akin to private car parks and are 'un-enforceable in Scotland' and can simply be ignored.

"Others have claimed that the cost of the fine is likely lower than the cost of court enforcement, so the council will simply not chase these up.

"Can you confirm if that's true."

Cllr Gurney explained that fines paid within 14 days are at a reduced rate, from 14-56 days are paid at the full rate and from 57-71 days cost an extra 50 per cent at £150.

After this stage, the council can issue a charge certificate and if the fine is not paid within another 14 days the file will be passed to the sheriff officer which would lead to debt recovery involving the court system.

He said this process could cost those facing fines "a lot more" than paying the fine and stated fines cannot be ignored.

Cllr Gurney added: "These penalty notices do come under the force of law and cannot simply be ignored."