The cost of parking tickets in Scotland could be hiked to as much as £120, it has emerged.
A consultation is taking place on increasing the Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) that is imposed on drivers who park illegally.
Currently a cost of £60 is incurred, but this is reduced to £30 if it is paid within 14 days
However a Transport Scotland consultation on the issue states that “this may not be a sufficient deterrent” to prevent drivers from parking where they are not permitted.
The consultation also proposes creating a two-tier charging system, with a higher and lower band.
One proposal could see PCNs increased to £80 for a lower charge, and £100 for a higher charge, with another option being that the fees be increased to £100 and £120.
But drivers would still receive a 50% discount if the charge is paid within two weeks.
The higher PCNs could be applied to motorists who improperly park in either a disabled bay, or a space marked for electric vehicles, with the consultation also asking if these charges should be imposed on those who double park or park on the pavement.
The consultation notes that while there was a review of penalty charge levels in 2010-11, the costs of these have not risen since 2001 – two decades ago.
Transport minister Graeme Dey said while the fines were a “contentious issue”, the parking policies were “an essential part of traffic management”.
Mr Dey said: “We’ve been working hard to encourage walking and wheeling and to make our streets more accessible for all.
“I’m proud that the Transport (Scotland) Act 2019 was approved by Parliament and empowers local authorities to tackle inconsiderate and obstructive parking. We now seek views on how to set penalty levels appropriately to ensure compliance.”
The minister continued: “We are also seeking views on levels on parking charge notices for all forms of parking contraventions.
“I recognise parking fines are a contentious issue, however, parking policies are an essential part of traffic management that let local authorities keep our towns and cities moving.
“In areas without a parking regime, we see issues around access which impact both drivers and pedestrians – and particularly people with disabilities.
“It’s been many years since parking penalty levels have been considered, and so it is important to consider now whether these levels meet their ultimate objective – to achieve 100% compliance with parking controls and therefore no penalty charges for drivers.
“In doing so, we improve road safety, keep traffic moving and encourage active, sustainable and accessible walking and wheeling in our communities.”
The consultation is open until October 4, with details on the Transport Scotland website.
Scottish Conservative transport spokesman Liam Kerr said “This looks like another potential blow to motorists from the SNP Government.
“Parking penalties are already an effective deterrent. When people obstruct areas without thinking about the rules or the consequences for others, especially when it impacts on disabled people, they rightly face a fine.
“It looks like the SNP are motivated more by forcing people to stop using their cars than a desire to cut down on people who park where they shouldn’t.”
But Keir Gallagher, campaigns manager at Cycling UK, said the move was a “step in the right direction to encourage drivers to park with consideration to others”.
He added: “Illegal and dangerous parking presents a risk to everyone – cyclists, pedestrians and other drivers alike.
“In Scotland half of all journeys under two miles are made by car and people choosing to walk or cycle these journeys would mean less congestion and less need for parking spaces in our towns and cities.”