Councils should show where parking fees spent, says RAC

Parking warden In London 59% of motorists found high street parking was costing more, according to the RAC

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Councils should show where they are spending revenues from parking charges, according to the RAC motoring group.

Four people in five surveyed by the motoring group said parking charges had increased in towns and cities.

But two thirds of 1,525 people surveyed thought there had been a reduction in available parking near the centre of their town or city, the research found.

The Local Government Association said the report did not reflect "the reality of parking in our communities".

But RAC technical director David Bizley said: "We need transparency. Councils should be compelled to report where the money raised from parking goes - giving drivers assurance that it is being ploughed back into road and transport improvements, rather than just plugging budget holes elsewhere."

Too small

Of the drivers surveyed, 41% "were suspicious about what parking fees are used for", he said.

The poll also found that 65% of motorists reported that even when they finally found a parking space, it was too small for today's breed of cars - many of which are wider than previous generations of vehicle because of the addition of side-impact protection features.

A spokesman for the Local Government Association, said: "This report is not a true reflection of the reality of parking in our communities."

"Councils remain on the side of hard-pressed motorists by keeping a lid on parking charges which are only set to rise with inflation this year.

"On-street parking revenue is spent on paying for parking services. Any surplus is spent on essential transport projects, such as tackling the £12bn roads repair backlog and creating new parking spaces."

Many councils already published annual parking reports, he added.

Communities minister Penny Mordaunt said: "Excessive parking charges and unfair parking fines push up the cost of living and undermine local high streets and shopping parades."


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  • rate this

    Comment number 127.

    Our local council appears to have used parking revenue to change the layout of the same five-way junction on our high street four times in the last five years, and to move a pedestrian crossing from a very convenient place to one that is inconvenient to everyone except (it seems) the local Tesco whose front door it is now aligned with.

    Very poor use of money...

  • rate this

    Comment number 126.

    maybe people should park legally, walk more, and insist that parking is free and make up the revenue loss by increasing the rates .its not rocket science.

  • rate this

    Comment number 125.

    Comment removed as it is not 'on topic'? How can commenting on the validity of the topic itself, including a comment ON the topic, be 'off topic'? Moderation is a joke!

  • rate this

    Comment number 124.

    my childhood town centre was pedestrianised without adequate parking facilities in teh vacinity. those that did exist then started charging. the end result was the creation of a ghost town with boarded up shops and no shoppers. parking is essential, drive out cars, drive out people...

  • rate this

    Comment number 123.

    @32. Fudge mark examiner
    The down votes suggest what people think of your post. I will be interested to know what happens when the first motorist contacts the police and points out you are demanding money with menaces. If it is a public road you have NO right at all to do what you are doing and will lose ALL of that money and more in court. If I had your address I would park there to prove it

  • rate this

    Comment number 122.

    76. Peter_Sym
    "Like their final salary pensions, huge salaries...."
    You been reading that Daily Mail again. Try comparing pensions and salaries of local govt employees with the useless bankers who brough this country to its financial knees. I worked in both public and private sector. The fact is that my salary and pension were far better in private, and, btw the work much easier!

  • rate this

    Comment number 121.

    As a car user, I get the message. I am not wanted in local towns. Therefore I buy virtually everything I need from Amazon and out of town supermarkets, with the exception of one daring early morning visit per week to the greengrocer market stall before 08:00 when parking restrictions come into force. All in it's cheaper, I save time and I don't have to use the public transport that I subsidise.

  • rate this

    Comment number 120.

    There are 2 multi stories in our town center. 1 charges £1.20 per hour, the new one charges £1 for up to 3 hours which you can get back if spend £5+ in Asda nearby. However, each only had 6 and 10 mother and baby spaces! and new one is so badly designed that they need wardens directing traffic on weekends and it can take over 30 mins to get out, no joking!

    And of course none give you change!

  • rate this

    Comment number 119.

    Your small and narrow estate car is still probably wider than cars used to be - and it is the older cars that car-park spaces were designed around. Not everyone wants (or needs) an estate car - after all, 4x4s are only estate cars on big wheels. Most cars today are bigger than older ones but needn't bee.

  • rate this

    Comment number 118.

    When will the town hall yogurt knitters responsible for transport realise we love our cars?

    We paid for roads to be built, so we can drive our cars on them.
    We also paid to build the car parks for the council too.

    Now the councils charge us rip off prices to use what we already own. The LGA comments are laughable and thankfully this government is making them realise we have had enough.

  • rate this

    Comment number 117.

    All taxes, charges and fines are put into one fund that is used to support all services. It is a pointless idea to propose matching revenue from one source to expenditure on a particular service.

    The biggest problem is town centre parking since it dissuades individuals from using small shops and town centres; in comparison supermarkets and out of town retail parks have free parking.

  • Comment number 116.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 115.


    £10 an day, try an hour in central London.

  • rate this

    Comment number 114.

    @105 fuzzy
    Probably, but in the village in which I used to live, we only had one bus a day in the 1960s but we also had a butchers and a general shop. You couldn't use the bus then unless you didn't work. Now it's half full of ex-Londoners. Where I live now, there are many older people in the same position as me, we had regular buses until two years ago and not everyone has cars.

  • rate this

    Comment number 113.

    @ 111
    no it just fritters it away on over generous pay and pensions for those at the top of councils/government

  • rate this

    Comment number 112.


    Mega Awesome Pooster & Mark Fudge is the same troll.
    It's BBC's version of Catfish.

    Best thing to do is not vote them down as that's their wish.

  • rate this

    Comment number 111.

    108. Taffyman
    "The proceeds should go to a local charitable fund not into the coffers for wasting on grandiose schemes"
    What..grandiose schemes like health care, education, care homes, transport infrastructure, museums, public toilets......?
    The great lie of the right wing is that government fritters all of its money away on on 'grandiose schemes'.

  • rate this

    Comment number 110.

    ..If you compare the size of today's cars with those of 20 years' ago, you will find that today's cars are a lot wider that they used to be

    they claim its down to side air bags, nonsense, I ended up getting a small & narrow estate, has side air bags, perfectly roomy inside, possible to fit 2 adults plus child in back & has as much boot space as a large car,

  • rate this

    Comment number 109.

    I don't see how any council can justify charging for parking anyway, as it costs them pennies (cost of paint) to provide a single space, yet they can get in excess £10 a day from a single space in a busy short-stay car park. Given discounts are often given on sundays and bank holidays, you're still looking at getting on for £3,000 per year per space. Yet we still have potholes.

  • rate this

    Comment number 108.

    It is simple to sort out. You park for up to two hours FREE, if you stay longer they send you a small charge equivalent to the parking fees, plus a small handling fee. They could even supply you with an electronic tag to identify the user, you pay for just the amount of time you use the space. The proceeds should go to a local charitable fund not into the coffers for wasting on grandiose schemes.


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