Price of parking fees rise by 51% in the UK

Monday, May 23, 2016


A new study has shown that UK councils have increased the cost of resident parking by an average of 51% since 2011.


The study also shows that more than half of local authorities have expanded the number of parking zones which require payment in the past two years.


The car insurance firm that ran the investigation revealed that the average annual permit is £64, however some motorists pay more than 10 times that amount. 


The Local Government Associations (LGA) insisted that they are "on the side of motorists" and the reason for the price differences is to balance the requirements of residents and commuters.


The study showed that the most expensive in the country was Birmingham City Council where some permits cost up to £785. This was followed by Manchester City Council (£750), City of Edinburgh Council (£600) and London Borough of Islington (£545).


Figures were released by councils in response to Freedom of Information (FoI) requests from Esure showed that local authorities received more than £44 million from residential permits in 2014/15. Jon Wilshire, chief underwriting officer at the insurer, said: "Some motorists are paying hundreds of pounds simply to park near their home. And to make things worse, even with a permit many drivers still find it difficult to find a parking space."


Wilshire went on to say, "over the past two decades the number of vehicles on the road in Britain increased by 10 million but the space available for parking in residential areas has not increased."


According to Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation, many drivers see the charges as a "stealth tax on people who have no choice other than to pay."


He continues to say: "The law is crystal clear - on-street parking charges should be set to manage congestion, not to raise revenue."


Peter Box, the LGA's transport spokesman, said: "Councils are on the side of motorists but this survey highlights the difficulties they face in balancing the requirements of commuters and residents."


He added: "Councils often introduce restrictions at residents' request and consult widely on them, but in some places there simply is not enough road space or parking space to accommodate demand."


Out of the 371 UK city, district, borough and county councils, 222 responded with at least one piece of data.


A spokesman for the Department for Communities and Local Government said: "This Government is standing up for local shops and residents and stopping drivers being treated as cash cows."


He went on to say: "We have introduced new measures that mean taxpayers will be able to see how much their council in charging, how much they are making and how that money is being used." He continued, "it's part of wider efforts to put residents back in the driving seat so they can see first-hand how well their council is performing."


Below is the list of the top ten most expensive permits in the UK according to Esure:


1. Birmingham City Council - £785


2. Manchester City Council - £750


3. City of Edinburgh Council - £600


4. London Borough of Islington - £545


5. Mid Devon District Council - £425


6. Purbeck District Council - £372


7. Mole Valley Council, Surrey - £350


8. London Borough of Croydon - £305


9. London Borough of Brent - £302


10. Huntingdonshire District Council - £300


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