Parking Wardens Have Snagged £700m in Fines in a Year

By Gary Cutlack on at

English councils are raking it in from whacking tickets on the people carriers of the nation, with stats from the RAC Foundation suggesting they took in a whopping £693m during 2014/15 -- a nice four per cent increase on the previous year.

The RAC says that £308 million or 44 per cent of the money was taken by councils that are part of London, although not all councils are profitable -- 57 of the 353 local authorities are suspected of making a loss rather than a profit on penalising people for putting their cars in the wrong place.

In the previous year English councils took £667 million from road users sitting on the wrong colour lines, with this year's increase coming about not from cost cutting but from simply taking more money from parking charges and penalty notices.

The RAC isn't hugely against the idea of making money from drivers in this way, but would like the law that says this money should only be spent on road infrastructure and environmental projects to be tightened to force authorities to say where the money's actually gone.

The RAC Foundation's director Steve Gooding said: "The legal position is that parking charges are to be used as a tool for managing traffic. But with local government budgets under ever-greater pressure the temptation to see them as a fund-raiser must be intense." [RAC via BBC]