Reduction in Wirral parking fines while UK drivers stump up a staggering £328m
A MASSIVE £328m has been collected by UK councils in parking fines according to figures released by The Taxpayers’ Alliance today.
The fines "league table" shows that in Wirral, money raised from penalty charges fell from £995,245 last year to £895,623 for this.
Across the Mersey, meanwhile, Liverpool City Council saw an increase in fines from £1,964,295 to an eye-watering £2,404,357 during the same period.
A statement from the Alliance said: "Many people perceive parking enforcement as a money spinning scheme and the right of councils to retain the proceeds from parking enforcement is a major source of friction between councils and the public."
The statement says the new research provides for the first time the amount collected by all UK councils, enabling the Alliance to produce a national estimate of the amount raised in parking fines.
Jennifer Dunn, the organisation's policy analyst, said: “For many councils parking fines have become a lucrative source of income.
"But while revenues are being made at the cost of the motorist, taxpayers haven’t seen their council tax fall, or their local services improve.
"Motorists are being treated like cash cows, but the only people that appear to be benefiting are wardens and their bosses.”
According to a spokeswman, Wirral Council's policy is that it does not use parking enforcement to raise revenue and "makes no money from parking enforcement activities."
A media statement said: "Any surplus funds following administration costs (enforcement costs, adjudication service costs, court costs, IT costs, staffing of appeals team, debt recovery) is put straight back into traffic or highway schemes as required by national legislation.
“The council does not set targets for the number of parking tickets issued.
"It does not pay any incentives for issuing penalty charge notices to either the contractor or individuals and forbids the contractor from doing so."
Local authorities were permitted under the Road Traffic Act 1991 to assume responsibility for parking enforcement, a power until then held exclusively by the police.
In return, councils were permitted to keep the proceeds.
Any surplus income from parking enforcement is earmarked for local transportation and environment improvements.
Ninty-nine per cent of councils responded to the Taxpayers' Alliance request for figures. THE GLOBE