Revealed: How much money is made from car parking charges amid promises of review
PUBLISHED: 07:00 04 June 2018
A cross-party group of councillors is being put together to review parking in North Somerset – including Weston-super-Mare.
Figures obtained by the Mercury show how much money North Somerset Council has received since it introduced on-street parking charges in Weston in November 2012.
Income from on-street parking has been steadily rising since 2013/14, the first time it was implemented for a whole year.
Drivers paid £422,462 during 2013/14 – rising to £598,597 in 2017/18.
Part of this can be attributed to the number of streets with on-street charges being increased from 27 to 31.
Prices have also risen from 20p for 20 minutes and £2.40 for two hours to 30p for 20 minutes and £3 for two hours.
MORE: Council leader – Car parking charges have ‘got out of hand.
The total income from car parking, including 40 off-street locations and Weston seafront, was £2.34million in 2017/18, representing a 14.7 per cent increase in four years.
Councillor Mike Bell said: “These figures show the council is continuing to increase revenue from parking, either through increased charges or by charging in new areas, and the great majority of this income comes from residents and visitors in Weston.
“The town truly is the parking cash cow.”
Deputy leader Elfan Ap Rees said: “Any surplus from car parking income is spent on reinvesting into the car parks alongside associated highways maintenance and enhancements.”
Figures show 18,356 penalty notices were given to drivers in the first nine months since the council took control of civil parking enforcement (CPE) in April 2017.
These fines were given to people who were wrongly and illegally parked, for example on double yellow lines and in bus stops.
Of those fines, only 40 were taken to appeal, with 13 of those being found against the council.
Neighbouring authorities in Bristol and Bath lost a higher proportion of CPE appeal cases than North Somerset.
Cllr Ap Rees said: “We have always promised to review the (parking) system once it had time to bed down, so we could identify weaknesses.
“This will happen this year and we are already discussing a cross-party member group covering all the key areas in North Somerset to take this forward.”
Earlier this year, council leader Nigel Ashton said the charges had got out of hand, and he would prefer not to have them as a tax.