The AA has criticised local authorities across the country for stepping up their Sunday parking restrictions and patrols, saying that the resultant rise in parking tickets issued has “targeted churchgoers and choristers.”

Several councils across the country have recently introduced seven-day patrols, with the result that tickets issued on Sundays have increased by 13 per cent.

The figures were revealed by a series of freedom of information requests made by car insurer LV=.

“While there has been a general increase across all council areas,” the company commented, “there has been a significant spike in the number of tickets being issued on Sundays.”

The statistics showed that nearly 300,000 tickets were issued on a Sunday in the first five months of 2013.

London’s Westminster Council has issued by far the largest number of Sunday parking tickets so far, at 16,464 – a whopping 9,874 more than Lambeth Council, in second place.

The figures have contributed to an overall rise in the number of parking tickets being handed out in the UK.

On average, councils now issue 162 parking fines per day, as opposed to 154 in 2012.

Edmund King, president of the AA, said: “It’s mean-spirited to fine people on a Sunday. The traditional day of rest – when even motorists deserve a bit of relief – is being eroded in favour of revenue raising. Money destined for the collection plate is instead flowing into council coffers.”

John O’Roarke, managing director of LV=, added: “Parking on a Sunday is becoming increasingly difficult, and it’s easy to get caught out if you don’t know the local rules.”

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