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Parking fines make £4.3 million for town halls

PUBLISHED: 10:04 10 December 2009 | UPDATED: 17:24 25 August 2010

COUNCILS have made a whopping £4.3 million from parking fines last year.

COUNCILS have made a whopping £4.3 million from parking fines last year.

In 2007/8, Bexley council profited from £2,435,000 which worked out at an average of £20.29 per person for the year.

The council did not have information for 2008/9 at the time the Freedom of Information request was submitted by the Taxpayers' Alliance, but that has since become available.

Based on the same calculations, it revealed Bexley received £3,053,000 in 2008/9, working out at £25.40 per person using census population figures from 2001.

Greenwich council took £1,957,593 from motorists in 2007/8 and £1,761,393 in 2008/9, working out at £15.42 and £13.87 for the respective years.

In total, motorists in the area have shelled out more than £4.3 million in 2007/8, according to data collected by the Taxpayers' and Drivers' Alliances.

Policy Analyst Jennifer Dunn 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."

Under the Road Traffic Act 1991 local authorities were permitted to assume responsibility for on-street and off-street parking enforcement, a power until then held exclusively by the police.

Chief executive at the Drivers' Alliance, Peter Roberts, said: "Parking enforcement has become a massive money making industry and we are seeing unscrupulous and target-driven enforcement of parking laws where the penalties far outweigh the offence. This report shows that some local authorities are treating drivers unfairly and cashing in on parking fines."

A spokesman for Bexley council said: "We provided a partial response to the enquiry because some of the information requested had not been published at the time the FoI request was made."

Income figures related to on and off-street penalty charges for 2008-2009 are contained in the council's Annual Performance Report, available on its website at www.bexley.gov.uk/index.aspx?articleid=992.

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