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Mersey councils make six million from parking charges

'Cash used to improve roads, rather than feeding coffers'

Published on December 23rd 2013.

Mersey councils make six million from parking charges

LIVERPOOL and its four neighbours made a surplus exceeding £6.2m from parking services in the past year, figures from the RAC Foundation reveal today.

Around the country hundreds of cities and towns generated a surplus of  almost £600m.  In the North West only Manchester was in the top 10.

Liverpool scraped into the top 50 with a surplus of £3,325m (42nd place). Sefton, in 112th place, had a surplus of £1.4m, Wirral ( 157th) made £851,000,  Knowsley (199th place) made a £524,000 surplus and St Helens in 275thplace made a modest surplus of £122,000.

Councils insist the surpluses made from parking charges are ploughed into improving roads, rather than feeding council coffers.

Liverpool’s surplus was down compared to 2009 when it was heading for £4m.  Knowsley made losses  of £300,000 in 2009 and £410,000 in 2010.

Across the Merseyside border Halton this year made a loss of £100,000 on parking services.

Professor Stephen Glaister, director of the RAC Foundation, said:  “It is a case of déjà vu. Once again English councils have made record amounts from parking. Yet overall spending on local roads has fallen by 9% over the past three years with road safety expenditure down by as much as 20%.

“The government’s recent decision to consult on changes to parking rules and regulations is timely and we have always argued that at the very least all councils should publish an annual parking report to explain how much money is collected from drivers and, just as importantly, where that cash is going.

“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.”

Responding to the RAC Foundation report into council parking income, Cllr Peter Box, Chair of the Local Government Association's Economy and Transport Board, said:

"This report further peddles the myth that councils are using parking charges to raise money. The reality is that the average motorist is paying 30 times more to Whitehall in charges and taxation each year than they do to their town hall through parking.

"Councils are on the side of hard-pressed motorists by keeping a lid on parking charges. Many already publish annual parking reports to be open and transparent with residents and combat the deep-rooted misconception that they are being used to raise money.

"Councils do not make a profit from parking. All income from charges and fines are spent on running parking services and any surplus goes on essential transport projects such as bringing our dilapidated road network up to scratch and providing subsidised bus travel for children or elderly residents."


Top 10:

  • Westminster £39.7m

  • Kensington and Chelsea £30.44m

  • Camden £23.53m

  • Hammersmith and Fulham £19.39m

  • Brighton and Hove £16.25m

  • Wandsworth £15.89m

  • Lambeth £12m

  • Nottingham £11.79m

  • Manchester £8.78m

  • Islington £8.21m



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