Councils ‘to make 1bn’ from parking charges

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Councils in England could make a record surplus of £1bn from parking charges and penalties this year, a study says.

An analysis of budgets commissioned by the RAC Foundation found authorities expect to make a total surplus of £913m from parking activities in 2019-20.

But it found the amount made in the last three years was underestimated.

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Councils point out surplus money from parking must be spent on local transport. Westminster council had the largest estimated surplus of £72.1m.

This was followed by five other London councils – Kensington and Chelsea (£36m), Camden (£28.3m), Islington (£25.9m), Wandsworth (£25.9m) and Hammersmith and Fulham (£25.6m).

The study examined budget figures provided by councils to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.

Of the 343 councils in the study, 278 said they expected to record a surplus from parking for the current financial year.

Some 65 councils said they were preparing to break even or incur a loss, the research said.

The highest budgeted surplus outside of London was Brighton and Hove (£24m) in seventh place, with other authorities in the top 20 including Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole (£13.7m), Bristol (£12.5m), and Birmingham (£12.4m).

RAC Foundation director Steve Gooding described £1bn as “quite a windfall from a service that is intended to be all about managing traffic”.

Image copyright Getty Images

Martin Tett, a spokesman for the Local Government Association, said councils were “on the side of motorists” but must “strike a balance” when setting parking policy to ensure “there are spaces available for residents, high streets are kept vibrant and traffic is kept moving”.

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He added any income raised through on-street parking charges was spent “on running parking services”, while surplus was “only spent on essential transport projects” such as solving the roads repair backlog.

Original Article : HERE ; This post was curated & posted using : RealSpecific

This post was curated & Posted using : RealSpecific

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