Councils in England earned over £411 million from parking charges in 2011/12 - a 14.9%
increase compared to the previous year. Furthermore - according to The Institute of
Advanced Motorists that revealed this information - Westminster Council in London
was the biggest earner. It therefore took £38 million which was 8.7% more than 2010/11. This was followed by Kensington and Chelsea (£27.5m + 31%) and Camden (£25m +
18%). The biggest earning councils outside London were: Brighton and Hove (£13.7m
+18.9%), Milton Keynes (£6.5m +9.3%) and Newcastle upon Tyne (£6.2m + 51%).
According to The Institute, this coincided with a time that spending on road safety,
education and safe routes to schools fell from £127.5 million to only £105 million (-18%).
Institute of Advanced Motorists Chief Executive, Simon Best, revealed: “Councils are
making record-breaking profits from parking while cutting road safety spending on life-
saving services such as education for young drivers, cycle training, and safe routes to
schools schemes.” Mr Best concluded: “At the same time cuts to road maintenance will
mean a backlog of repairs which will simply cost more to fix in the long term.”
Parking Fines In The United Kingdom
Councils in the United Kingdom also profited from motorists who parked illegally last year. As such – based on a Freedom of Information Request by insurance specialist Swiftcover.com – 6.8 million parking fines were issued in 2011. That was 246,255 more than the previous year. These fines earned councils at least £234 million which equated to over £19 million per-month. Interestingly, this rise coincided with a slight fall in the number of traffic wardens. Most of the parking fines were issued in London with Liverpool, Manchester, and Birmingham following in second, third, and fourth respectively. Perhaps drivers struggled to find affordable/available spaces in these cities.
Robin Reames, Chief Claims Officer at Swiftcover.com, said: “Shortage of parking has become a huge issue in towns and cities across the UK in the past five to ten years. However, this doesn’t excuse illegal parking. Although it might be an easy option to park on a double yellow for a short time it’s potentially dangerous as well as being illegal, and can result in a fine. Furthermore, if your illegally parked car is a hazard and a moving vehicle crashed in to it, an insurer could in theory request up to a third of the bill from the at fault motorist.”