It has been reported that councils in England have raked in record profits from parking. Official figures have shown that one town hall has completely boosted its income by over 50 per cent in just one year.
The Local Government Association has admitted that it has used cash from parking to fill the gap in their highways budget.
According to a report, “local authorities, who have seen their profit from parking increase 14.9 per cent in a year to £411 million, have admitted they are using the cash to plug gaps in their spending because of budget cuts.”
These figures will spark accusations that local authorities are using motorists as a ‘cash cow’ to solve funding shortages. Questions are being raised as to whether authorities are actually just handing out parking fines to aid their spending, as opposed to easing congestion and aiding roadspace.
The report explains: “Councils who use the cash to subsidise their spending and local taxpayers are acting illegally. But a loophole does allow local authorities to use the surplus to pay for other transport profits.”
Councilor Peter Box of the Local Government Association said: “Any surpluses from parking revenue helps lessen the effect these cuts have as it must be spent on transport services such as filling potholes, bus passes for the elderly, park and ride schemes, street lights, parking services and road improvement projects, things which benefit all road users at some point.”