Councils across the UK have collectively made a record £1.76 billion in car park charges and fines, new figures have revealed…
Councils Make Record Profit
Throughout the UK, councils have pocketed a record £1.76 billion by issuing car park charges and fines, new figures show. Some local authorities actually made 75% of their total council tax revenue via parking charges alone. The figures, compiled by the AA, have established that they collectively made £900 million (after operational costs are factored in) between 2019/20; that’s around 6% of total council tax revenue.
However, the proportion made by fees and fines in some areas of the country has been described as ‘breathaking’. The London borough of Westminster, for instance, made an eye-watering £69 from parking charges and fines. Meanwhile, Kensington & Chelsea made £36 million. Elsewhere in the country, the likes of Nottingham, Bournemouth and Birmingham all bagged in excess of £20 million.
Redefining Car Dependency
The amount of money being raised by local authorities via car-related fines and charges is giving way to a new kind of car dependency. Edmund King, President of the AA, said “council cash-guzzling from parking charges, permits and fines can be staggering”. He added, “drivers see the huge irony of being told to use their car less, while many councils can’t get enough of them driving into town, parking up and paying millions in charges”.
Ultimately, whilst councils are increasingly calling for clean air initiatives and forms of pedestrianisation, they’re becoming increasingly dependent on car-related sources of revenue in order to balance their budgets. The consequences of this, in the long-term, don’t require much elaboration.
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