PRIVATE parking attendants handed out nearly 9,500 penalty notices – with fines totalling more than £300,000 – in East Lothian during their first year on patrol.

The number of tickets issued to people caught ignoring restrictions on the roads was revealed as East Lothian Council marked its first full year of using private parking attendants to enforce yellow lines and time-limited parking bays and other on-road rules.

In total, 9,467 penalty charge notices were issued last year.

The highest number of tickets issued were given to motorists parking in Musselburgh, where nearly one in four of all fines were handed out, closely followed by Dunbar and North Berwick.

The council said that 2,277 notices were issued in Musselburgh, followed by 1,684 in Dunbar and 1,672 in North Berwick.

Private parking attendants began issuing notices on January 23 last year after the council successfully decriminalised parking enforcement.

The fine for breaching parking regulations is £60 but that is reduced if paid within a certain number of days.

There are currently six parking attendants employed on behalf of the council by contractors NSL Ltd and one supervisor.

The council was due to put proposals for town centre parking charges, charges for residents’ permits and an expansion of coastal car park charges to public consultation following a meeting in December. However, this was put on hold after opposition councillors refused to back it.