A study published by the RAC Foundation has highlighted a considerable upturn in the profits local authorities are making from parking operations in the current financial climate.
Data from the Department for Communities and Local Government has been collated by the organisation and the end result proves interesting reading, revealing how councils across the UK in 2012-13 generated profits of £594 million from day-to-day and off-street parking operations – a five per cent increase on the previous 12 months’ findings.
The figures relate to parking charges and penalty fines, with running costs for services then taken away. They show that across the country those areas that are developing the largest surplus in funds at present can all be found in the capital, with Westminster, Kensington & Chelsea, Camden and Hammersmith & Fulham authorities the worst offenders.
Professor Stephen Glaister, director of the RAC Foundation, commented: “It might be that some of the extra ‘profit’ has arisen because councils’ costs for running parking services have been reduced but drivers need to know this.
“There’s no disputing the figures we have looked at. They are the numbers the councils themselves submit to central government. What’s more, council budgets show that the surplus for the current year is set to be higher still.”
He added it is something of a “deja vu”, as once again councils across the UK have made record amounts from parking, while at the same time cutting back on essential road maintenance and road safety programmes – down by nine and 20 per cent on average in the past three years.
As a result, the foundation is calling on all councils to begin funnelling this money back into benefiting road users and local communities, rather than building up a surplus of cash as they are doing at present.
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