London councils head list of parking charge surpluses

 

Motorists give their views on parking charges in Westminster and elsewhere

Related Stories

Parking charges are providing huge cash surpluses for some English councils, according to the RAC Foundation.

The 359 councils across England had a total current account surplus of £565m from on and off-street parking schemes in 2011-12, according to the figures.

Eight of the biggest 10 surpluses came from London councils with Westminster leading the way with a £41.6m profit.

Westminster City Council disputed many of the figures but said it would work with motorists to reduce fines.

The other two councils outside London making the top 10 were Brighton and Hove in sixth with £14.4m and Cornwall in eighth with £7.9m.

The total profit represented a £54m increase on the surplus from 2010-11 and only 52 of the councils reported a deficit on their 2011-12 parking operations.

The RAC Foundation figures, produced for them by transport consultant David Leibling, are from the annual returns councils are required to provide to the Department for Communities and Local Government.

They are based on three factors - on-street parking charges, off-street parking charges and parking penalties.

Running costs of parking operations are deducted from this total to produce the surplus or deficit figure.

Top 10 parking surpluses

  • Westminster £41.6m
  • Kensington and Chelsea £28.1m
  • Camden £25m
  • Hammersmith and Fulham £19.5m
  • Wandsworth £16.1m
  • Brighton and Hove £14.4m
  • Islington £10.9m
  • Cornwall £7.9m
  • Newham £7.3m
  • Hounslow £7.3m

Source: RAC Foundation. Figures for 2011-12

Tackling congestion

Transport minister Norman Baker said: "The law is quite clear. Councils should not be pricing their parking in order to make a profit.

"Any monies raised from parking in excess of the cost of administration has to go back to transport purposes which can be dealing with potholes, improved road management or can be investing in public transport to encourage people to free up the roads.

Subtracting the money spent by councils on capital projects - such as fixing potholes or traffic schemes - the surplus for 2011-12 stands at the "still very large figure" of £412m, a spokesman for the RAC Foundation said.

Details of what the money is spent on is not provided to the Department for Communities and Local Government, he added.

While disputing some of the figures, Westminster City Council still signalled its intention to work with road users to reduce fines.

Local Government Association's David Sparks: "Local authorities are reviewing their parking charges"

Councillor Daniel Astaire, Westminster City Council cabinet member for business, said: "The system is already changing and councils are already looking to work with motorists to issue fewer fines and crucially increase the amount of people parking correctly.

"Parking is about traffic management, tackling congestion and trying to implement positive benefits for businesses and high streets.

"If we stay in this Jurassic age of pure rhetoric about cash cows and money making, innovation will be stifled and we cannot engage with motorists properly in order to find the best solutions that will benefit everyone."

Kensington and Chelsea Council made the second biggest surplus of £28.1m and a spokesman told BBC London: "There is a greater demand for parking spaces in Kensington and Chelsea than practically anywhere else in the country.

"The council has discretion on how to spend any surplus that may arise, within the allowable purposes provided for by Section 55 of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984."

Professor Stephen Glaister, from the RAC Foundation: "Temptation to ramp up charges to pay for general council budget"

Havering Council had the second lowest figures in London, despite its surplus of £703,000 having gone up by £563,000.

A spokeswoman said: "These latest figures show our commitment to giving residents and visitors to the borough value for money, as well as showing our support for local high streets and as a result the wider economy.

"Despite being the third largest London borough, parking charges in Havering are still among the lowest in London and have stayed the same for several years. But in April this year, we cut prices even further."

'Cash cow'

Councillor Peter Box, chairman of the Local Government Association's economy and transport board, said: "Parking revenue is spent on paying for parking services.

"Any money left over goes towards transport services like filling potholes, concessionary travel and road improvement projects.

Is technology the answer to London's parking problems? BBC London's Tom Edwards finds out

"As the report makes clear, many councils have to subsidise parking services as the cost is not covered by charges.

"Parking charges and fines help councils keep traffic flowing and pedestrians and motorists safe."

On Wednesday, government figures showed that money made from parking charges and fines by English councils is set to continue to rise.

The councils expect that net income from parking services is likely to increase from £601m in 2012-13 to £635m in 2013-14.

Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles said: "This municipal parking profit shows why we need to review and rein in unfair town hall parking rules. The law is clear that parking is not a tax or cash cow for town hall officers."

Last week, the High Court ruled against Barnet Council's move to raise the cost of residents' parking permits in a landmark victory for campaigners.

Mrs Justice Lang ruled that the council acted unlawfully when it increased permit costs to generate more money for road maintenance.

 

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

Comments

This entry is now closed for comments

Jump to comments pagination
 
  • rate this
    +22

    Comment number 685.

    I just can't believe, with the imminent demise of town centres, that councils think charging car drivers is a wise move. No wonder people go to out-of-town 'Malls'. Illegal parking is one thing but charging people silly amounts of money simply to leave their car is going to speed up the death of shopping in towns. Might as well knock them all down and make car parks... oh, the irony!

  • rate this
    -34

    Comment number 632.

    While and I like admire Mr Pickles, I think if the councils have to charge what they are to deter inconsiderate parking then making a surplus is a good thing. I agree that council's prime motive in making parking restrictions and setting fines should not be for revenue, but in most cases I don't think it is.

  • rate this
    +15

    Comment number 631.

    I have no issue with sensibly enforced parking regulations, especially if the proceeds are reinvested to provide better public transport and repairing the roads. Unfortunately I doubt this is the case and that it just goes towards some councillors 'bun fight'

  • rate this
    +19

    Comment number 629.

    Parking fines are a cash-cow - we should do away with private car-parking companies, revert to Traffic Wardens only (who have no financial incentive to issue tickets) and stop this business which is out-of-control.

  • rate this
    +51

    Comment number 502.

    I avoid whenever possible going somewhere that I am required to pay to park in order to shop, especially the extortionate rates charged in some places. I am certainly not alone in this and so the high streets continue to die and the politicians wonder why.

 

Comments 5 of 13

 

BBC London

Weather

London

13 °C 9 °C

BBC Local Live

  1.  
    13:19: New pictures of Crossrail

    New pictures of London's Crossrail project have been released as it hits the 60% completion mark.

    Crossrail
     
  2.  
    13:09: BBC London news Sonja Jessup Presenter, BBC London News

    On the programme at 13:30 on BBC One: We'll have the latest from the Mayor's visit to Singapore: Boris Johnson's been accused of sending out contradictory messages over immigration.

    And freedom of speech or intimidation? Health groups are calling for new laws to ban anti-abortion protests from taking place directly outside clinics.

     
  3.  
    12:57: News on the hour BBC London 94.9 Radio

    The lead story at 13:00 in the capital on BBC London 94.9: London Underground says there's "absolutely no basis" for a strike on the Northern Line which is set to go ahead on Monday after talks to try to avert it broke down.

     
  4.  
    12:49: Watch: Woman update by pro-life supporters BBC Newsbeat Radio 1 and 1Xtra

    A 21-year-old talks about her experience of having an abortion at a London clinic and having to walk past pro-life campaigners before undergoing the procedure.

    She said the situation was "really upsetting" and made her "feel physically sick." It comes as the British Pregnancy Advisory Service calls for new legislation in England and Wales to ban anti-abortion protests from taking place within a certain distance of clinics.

     
  5.  
    12:41: Attacked man 'wants to know why'

    A university lecturer who needed facial reconstruction surgery after he was savagely beaten at his home said he wanted to know why he was attacked.

    Paul Kohler

    Paul Kohler, 55, who attacked in Kings Road, Wimbledon on 11 August, told BBC London: "We need to find out why they did it."

     
  6.  
    12:33: Machine gun arrests

    Four people have been arrested after a machine gun was recovered at a house on Tottenham Lane in Haringey, Scotland Yard has said.

    A loaded Mac 10 machine gun containing a magazine with approximately 30 rounds of ammunition was seized, along with a bag containing 25 additional rounds. The two men and two women were arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to endanger life.

     
  7.  
    12:21: Christmas light switch-off

    The Christmas lights on Oxford Street were switched off for five minutes at midnight to mark the start of Black Friday.

    xmas
     
  8.  
    12:11: Plebgate fallout 'totally unnecessary'

    A police officer who witnessed the so-called "Plebgate" row has said it was a "nonsense incident" that should not have cost Andrew Mitchell his job.

    Ian Richardson

    The Tory MP lost his High Court libel case yesterday after a judge ruled he probably had called officers "plebs". But Ian Richardson, who was on duty during the row, said the fall-out from the incident was "totally unnecessary".

     
  9.  
    11:58: News on the hour BBC London 94.9 Radio

    Our top story this hour in London: Scotland Yard says a former children's home worker, John Cowan, who's been jailed for eight years for historic sexual abuse could have abused many more victims who haven't yet come forward.

     
  10.  
    11:51: Watch: Building the Olympic Stadium's roof

    The BBC has been allowed inside London's Olympic Stadium to film the construction of the arena's new roof which is part of £190m programme including the installation of new hospitality suites, toilets and turnstile areas.

    Up above steels which will support the new roof

    The stadium is scheduled to reopen next year to host 2015 Rugby World Cup games with West Ham United are set to move to the arena in 2016.

     
  11.  
    @BBCLondon949 11:38: Not 'for all the éclairs in Paris'

    The radio station BBC London 94.9 tweets: Jeremy Paxman: I wouldn't be London mayor "for all the eclairs in Paris" - but confirms he was approached to stand as Tory candidate in 2016.

     
  12.  
    11:28: 'Tories woo Paxman for mayor' The Daily Telegraph
  13.  
    @LAS_OpsDirector 11:17: Fourth busiest day 'ever'

    Jason Killens, the operation director of London's Air Ambulance tweets: Yesterday was a very busy day for medics @Ldn_Ambulance. It was the 4th busiest day ever for calls that are immediately life threatened.

     
  14.  
    11:10: Boris in the Far East

    London Mayor Boris Johnson is pictured being met by doorman Narajan at Raffles Hotel in Singapore before he addresseing the Singapore British Chamber of Commerce.

    London Mayor Boris Johnson with doorman Narajan

    Earlier, Mr Johnson met the Prime Minister Mr Lee Hsien Loong at Istana, the Presidential Palace as part of a six day tour of the far east.

     
  15.  
    10:57: News on the hour BBC London 94.9 Radio

    The lead story at 11:00 in the capital on BBC London 94.9: A chief constable's accused supermarkets of being unprepared for the crowds of shoppers hoping to grab a bargain on so-called Black Friday in London.

     
  16.  
    10:51: Wine merchant conned out of £50k wine London Evening Standard Newspaper

    A leading wine merchant has become the latest victim of wine fraud after being conned out of vintage bottles worth £50,000, according to the Evening Standard.

    Sebastian Woolf, who runs Woolf Sung in Covent Garden, says the fraudster pretended to be the chief executive of a City firm looking to buy wine for "wealthy individuals" for a party.

     
  17.  
    10:39: Hunted man arrested over double murder

    A man hunted by police has been arrested on suspicion of murdering a couple whose bodies were found in their village home near Leatherhead.

    Viktoras Bruzas

    Viktoras Bruzas, 38, was detained by police as he drove a car through Oxshott. The bodies of Patrick and Gillian Kettyle, both in their 50s, were found at their home in Fetcham in the early hours of Thursday.

     
  18.  
    10:26: Naked driver appeal

    Scotland Yard is appealing for information to trace a man who has been seen driving naked from the waist down in south-west London.

    He was spotted on the afternoon of 4 November acting suspiciously in a car in Hampton. On 16 November, police believe the same man pursued a woman in his car in the same area, forcing her to run away. The car was blue or silver in colour.

     
  19.  
    10:14: Have your say Beth Rose BBC News Online

    What do you think of BBC Local Live? We'd like your feedback about this service.

     
  20.  
    10:04: Rocky Horror sequel set for London
    Shock Treatment The 1981 film of Shock Treatment was called an "equal-sequel" but lacked most of Rocky Horror's original cast

    Richard O'Brien is to turn his flop sequel to The Rocky Horror Picture Show into a stage production in London.

    Shock Treatment, originally filmed in 1981, was a satire of celebrity, with Rocky Horror characters Brad and Janet trapped in a sinister TV game show.

     
  21.  
    09:51: News on the hour BBC London 94.9 Radio

    The lead story in the capital at 10:00 on BBC London 94.9: A Lithuanian builder from Walton-on-Thames is being questioned by detectives investigating a double murder near Leatherhead.

     
  22.  
    09:42: Mayor calls for more devolved powers

    London Mayor Boris Johnson has added his name to a letter calling on Westminster to devolve more powers to regional government in England.

    It comes on the day a cross-party commission, set up in the wake of the Scottish referendum, recommended that Edinburgh should have sweeping new controls over tax.

     
  23.  
    09:28: Watch: More power for London

    London mayor Boris Johnson has added his name to a letter calling on Westminster to devolve more powers to regional government in England.

    BBC London's Karl Mercer spoke to Andrew Carter from urban policy research unit Centre for Cities.

     
  24.  
    09:19: Spurs through after pitch invasion delays

    Tottenham secured their place in the Europa League knockout stage with victory over Partizan Belgrade, but their achievement was overshadowed by three first-half pitch intruders.

    Roberto Soldado Roberto Soldado grapples with one of the pitch intruders

    The match was suspended by the referee for 10 minutes just before the break following the third incident.

     
  25.  
    09:10: Talks planned to avert Tube strike fail

    Talks aimed at averting a strike by drivers on a London Underground (LU) line have broken up without agreement.

    Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union members on the Northern Line are due to walk out on Monday (1 December) in a row over the sacking of a colleague.

    RMT general secretary Mick Cash has dismissed the claim alcohol was involved in the dismissal. LU's chief operating officer Phil Hufton said: "There is no basis to take strike action."

     
  26.  
    09:05: Craig Whyte held at Heathrow Airport

    Former Rangers owner Craig Whyte has been arrested after arriving at Heathrow airport from Mexico where he had been detained.

    Craig Whyte

    The 43-year-old was held yesterday and will be taken to Scotland for an expected appearance at Glasgow Sheriff Court later.

    He is being held on an arrest warrant in relation to an investigation into his takeover of Rangers in 2011.

     
  27.  
    08:58: News on the hour BBC London 94.9 Radio

    The lead story at 09:00: Police have been called to help control crowds of shoppers at supermarkets across the country overnight, including four in London.

     
  28.  
    08:51: Hornchurch man writes anti-bullying novel

    The Romford Recorder has a fascinating interview with Aaron Kumar, 30, of Hornchurch, who written a novel, Having The Last Laugh, which is based on his own experiences, to coincide with Anti-Bullying Week.

     
  29.  
    08:44: Mental health deaths as beds cut

    Seven mental health patients have killed themselves in England -with at least one in London- since 2012 after being told there were no hospital beds for them, the BBC learns.

    The investigation, by BBC News and Community Care, has also revealed an email a chief executive of a mental health trust wrote to NHS England in frustration this summer after one of her senior officials came to tell her that: "Yet again there were no mental health beds in London in either the NHS or private sector."

     
  30.  
    08:35: 'Staff failures' over school abuser

    There were "serious failures" by staff at a school where a convicted paedophile drugged and abused boys, a report has found.

    William Vahey

    An independent review found an incoherent system for reporting abuse at Southbank International School in central London, where William Vahey worked.

     
  31.  
    08:30: Blackwall Tunnel queuing BBC London Travel

    There is queuing northbound at the Blackwall Tunnel from the Sun in the Sands roundabout after an earlier breakdown had closed the crossing.

    For the latest travel news go to our travel page or on Twitter @BBCLondonTravel.

     
  32.  
    @RPMain 08:28: Black Friday

    BBC London 94.9 reporter Richard Main tweets: Around 150 people currently queuing outside Asda on Edgware Road with more still arriving #BlackFriday

     
  33.  
    08:26: Piccadilly Line delays Paul Murphy-Kasp Journalist, BBC London

    There are severe delays on the Piccadilly Line between Kings Cross St Pancras and Cockfosters after a signal failure at Wood Green. There are minor delays on the rest of the line.

    For the latest travel news go to our travel page or on Twitter @BBCLondonTravel.

     
  34.  
    08:14: Police attend 'Black Friday' crowds

    Police have been called to several supermarkets in London amid crowd surges as people hunt for "Black Friday" offers.

    Sales sign
     
  35.  
    08:06: Cloudy start

    This morning will start off cloudy and dull, with some patchy rain or drizzle possible at times.

    It will then become mainly dry in the afternoon, with some bright or sunny spells developing, followed by some clear spells after dusk. It will also be quite breezy throughout. Maximum temperature: 13C (55F).

     
  36.  
    08:00: Good morning Beth Rose BBC News

    I'll be bringing you the latest news, sport, travel and weather from across London today for BBC Local Live.

    You can also send your news, pictures and comments to london.locallive@bbc.co.uk or Tweet @BBCLondonNews.

     

Features

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.