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FIGURES released earlier this month show that Mendip District Council has made over £3.8million in profit from car parking charges in the last financial year.
Mendip District Council came 138th out of the 353 councils in England for its profit from its day to day, on and off street parking operations. The figures are calculated by taking the income from parking charges and penalty notices and then deducting the running costs.
The RAC Foundation that carries out the research is urging councils to be more transparent about how the surplus is spent.
Steve Gooding, director 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.
“When a parking profit is made the law states that, essentially, the money can only be spent on transport and environment projects. We are simply asking that all councils publish annual reports to tell drivers exactly where this huge excess ends up.
“The precarious financial state of many councils is a genuine concern, not least when it comes to the risk of a cut in road maintenance spending which will hit every one of us. A funding solution requires national and local government to look beyond the High Street parking meter.”
Mendip District Council commented on the data saying, “The funds raised from our off-street car parks form part of our annual budget and is used to provide, maintain or improve the council’s off-street parking service with any surplus being made available for funding other key services across the district; we are unable to provide a detailed breakdown.”