Council chiefs defend themselves after research reveals local authorities have increased their revenue from parking charges by nearly £170m in five years, while simultaneously cutting road improvements.
Data obtained by the price comparison website confused.com has found that councils made £847m in 2017/18 from parking charges. This is up from £682m in 2013/14.
At the same time, the analysis shows that councils are spending £400m less on road improvements than they were five years ago.
Amanda Stretton, motoring editor at confused.com, said this had left motorists ‘confused’ as to where the money was going.
In response, Cllr Martin Tett, transport spokesman for the Local Government Association (LGA), said the money is spent on running parking services and essential transport projects.
This includes tackling the national £9bn roads repair backlog, he added.
Cllr Tett also said confused.com’s report ‘completely ignores’ central Government funding reductions.
‘Between 2010 and 2020, councils will have lost 57p out of every £1 the Government had provided for services, which is a much more significant source of funding for roads than surplus parking income,’ he explained.
‘Surplus parking income is not the only source of money for roads and not all transport spend is spent on roads but can still be helpful to motorists, such as supporting concessionary bus fares to help reduce congestion.
‘Councils are on the side of motorists and shoppers when setting parking policies which aim to make sure that there are spaces available for residents, high streets are kept vibrant and traffic is kept moving.’