A report by the RAC Foundation has shown a record amount of profits made by local authorities from paid-for parking spaces and penalty charge notices in 2014/15 – £693m! This figure is calculated after taking into account their running costs.
The five councils with the largest amounts were all based in London, being led by £46.4m Westminster, £33m Kensington & Chelsea and £24.5m, Camden.
Brighton and Hove (£18.6m) and Nottingham City (£13.3m) were the only two local authorities outside London in the top 10.
“The financial sums involved in local authority parking are huge and the overall profits eye-watering,” says RAC Foundation’s director Steve Gooding, “Once again the year-on-year direction of travel is upwards. When a parking profit is made the law states that, essentially, the money can only be spent on transport and environment projects. We are simply asking that all councils publish annual reports to tell drivers exactly where this huge excess ends up”.
But the Local Government Association rejected the idea that local authorities make a profit from parking charges, saying “The reality is income is spent on running parking services and any surplus is only spent on essential transport projects, such as tackling the £12bn roads repair backlog and creating new parking spaces. The average motorist is paying 30 times more to Whitehall in charges and taxation each year than they do to their town hall through parking”.
The debate rages on, but one thing is clear – less cars on the road can only help. Liftshare your next journey and help keep congestion down!
Photo credit: Wikimedia
Author Lex Barber