Council parking operations surplus rises by £165m

Comparison site Confused.com has reported that the annual surplus produced from council parking operations has risen by £165 million over the past five years despite cuts in road improvements.

The survey found that £847 million was generated from the parking activities of Britain’s local authorities during the 2017/18 financial year, a rise from the £682 million made in 2013/14.

The findings are released alongside claims that local authority spend on repairing roads fell from £2.8 billion to £2.4 billion over the same period. Confused.com says that its survey of 2,000 motorists shows that 54 per cent want to see money from parking fines used to fund improvements in road conditions, and 43 per cent do not know where the money is actually being spent.

Martin Tett, Transport spokesman for the Local Government Association, said: “Any income raised through on-street parking charges and parking fines is spent on running parking services and any surplus is only spent on essential transport projects, such as tackling our national £9 billion roads repair backlog and other local transport projects that benefit high streets and local economies.

“This 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.

“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.”

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