Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Council made £500k from parking fines

PARKING fines brought in more than £500,000 for Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council last year, figures show.

The authority made £549,286 in 2008/09, the first full year it was responsible for enforcement on streets and council car parks.

It took over on-street warden duties from West Midlands Police in October 2007.

Figures for 2007/08, when it ran the service for six months only, show it made £191,234.

This suggests more tickets were handed out by wardens the following year.

The figures were uncovered by pressure groups The TaxPayers’ Alliance and Drivers’ Alliance using Freedom of Information requests.

They said the figures show the tickets were worth £3.88 for every resident likely to park in the borough. The UK figure was £6.14,

The Drivers’ Alliance’s 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.”

The TaxPayers’ Alliance’s 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.”

The council has said fines pay for the running of the services and any surpluses have to by law go towards “transportation services/projects”.

A total 395 councils out of 455 returned figures.