The debate over whether councils should be allowed to spend money raised from parking tickets won’t die down. Recent reports have suggested that there is a considerable surplus of money made from parking tickets when compared to the amount of money that is spent by local councils on local road improvements and transport schemes. However, the Local Government Association has said that all of the money raised is, in fact, put back into schemes such as road improvements.
Local Government Minister Eric Pickles has been on a drive to reduce the amount that drivers have to spend to visit their local high street. He has introduced and suggested a number of measures, including the idea that local car owners will be allowed to stop on double yellow lines for a few minutes while they collect shopping from a local store. He, and the government, hope to bring shoppers back from out-of-town shopping centres and supermarkets and back to local high streets.
There has also been a number of reminders from Whitehall that local councils should not be profiting from parking ticket revenues, and that the money should only be used appropriately. Essentially, the government hopes that money from parking tickets is used to improve roads, ensure that there are adequate parking spaces for local residents, and for the general improvement of the transport infrastructure around the country.
It isn’t just parking tickets that have come under fire, but the way that councils are spending parking charges. This includes the money that is raised at council car parks, and from council parking meters. A spokesperson for the Local Government Association has said that they remain on the side of motorists, who have been hit by rising insurance premiums and an increasing in petrol costs in recent years.
However, an RAC report suggested that drivers do not necessarily believe the hype. 41% of respondents said that they believe their local authority was using the money raised on other things while 66% think that roads have been neglected by their local councils. 36% said that they would even be willing to pay more in motoring tax if the money was specifically put aside for improving the poor condition of roads in their local area.