Latest Public Sector News

23.12.13

Council parking ‘surplus’ of £594m – RAC Foundation

Local authorities in England made almost £600m from parking in the last year, a report from the RAC Foundation has stated.

Councils had a combined surplus of £594m in 2012/13, 5% up on the previous year. Even discounting interest and depreciation, the surplus would still be £460m. The largest surplus was in Westminster with £39.7m.

But the LGA said councils do not profit from parking and that the entire ‘surplus’ is spent on running parking services, road repairs, essential transport projects and subsidising buses.

RAC Foundation director Professor Stephen Glaister 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.”

But Cllr Peter Box, chair of the LGA’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.”

Tell us what you think – have your say below, or email us directly at opinion@publicsectorexecutive.com

Comments

Ken   06/01/2014 at 12:03

"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", well our local buses have all increased their charges this year and very few of the huge backlog of potholes seem to be getting anything other than a temporary patch. Why not give us the breakdown between these elements if you want to be transparent, as on current evidence I don't believe Cllr Peter Box, chair of the LGA’s Economy and Transport Board. May be it is different in Scotland.

Add your comment

 

related

public sector executive tv

more videos >

last word

Prevention: Investing for the future

Prevention: Investing for the future

Rob Whiteman, CEO at the Chartered Institute of Public Finance (CIPFA), discusses the benefits of long-term preventative investment. Rising demand, reducing resource – this has been the r more > more last word articles >

public sector focus

View all News

comment

Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

21/06/2019Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

Taking time to say thank you is one of the hidden pillars of a society. Bei... more >
How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

19/06/2019How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

Tom Chance, director at the National Community Land Trust Network, argues t... more >

interviews

Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

17/12/2018Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

It’s no secret that the public sector and its service providers need ... more >

the raven's daily blog

Utilising data to best deliver meaningful public services

14/11/2019Utilising data to best deliver meaningful public services

Public Sector Executive’s Matt Roberts explains how living in a modern, interconnected world, as we do, means public sector organisations cannot afford to ignore the rol... more >
read more blog posts from 'the raven' >

editor's comment

25/10/2017Take a moment to celebrate

Devolution, restructuring and widespread service reform: from a journalist’s perspective, it’s never been a more exciting time to report on the public sector. That’s why I could not be more thrilled to be taking over the reins at PSE at this key juncture. There could not be a feature that more perfectly encapsulates this feeling of imminent change than the article James Palmer, mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, has penned for us on p28. In it, he highlights... read more >