William Eichler 13 April 2016

Town halls using parking charges to raise cash

Town halls using parking charges to raise cash image

Local authorities are collecting increasing amounts of revenue from parking charges, despite a court ruling forbidding the use of such charges as a form of taxation.

A Freedom of Information (FoI) request, submitted by the RAC, revealed councils’ revenues from residents’ parking schemes have seen ‘massive increases’ in recent years.

The FoI requests show the revenue collected ranges from a few thousand pounds a year to nearly £3m in the case of the London Borough of Lambeth.

In 2013, residents of the north London borough of Barnet successfully challenged their council’s sharp increase in parking permit charges from £40 to £100 and vouchers for visitors from £1 to £4.

Barnet carried this out under the 1984 Road Traffic Regulation Act, but the court ruled this was not a fiscal measure and did not authorise the authority to use its powers to charge local residents for parking in order to raise surplus revenue for other transport purposes.

Despite this ruling, however, the RAC found many councils have been charging more for parking.

The Borough of Haringey saw a 90% revenue rise from 2010-2011 to 2014-2015 from £1,029,240 to £1,958,319. Ealing was not far behind with an 84% increase from £938,988 to £1,730,063.

Cambridgeshire County Council also recorded an 80% rise in revenue from £254,328 to £458,387, while Carmarthenshire County Council in Wales brought in 70% more revenue – £31,820 to £53,935.

For more, visit Transport Network.

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