Kent motorists milked for £50 million in 2019/20
Updated: 15:12 – 27/01/21
Parking income is derived from three main sources: meter income, residents’ and business permits, and penalties. Other sources are towing and storage charges although relatively few councils operate pounds now.
The total income for all Kent Councils including Medway in 2019-20 was £49,668,000 [Gravesham did NOT supply data for 2019/20].
All but three Kent Councils saw a marginal increase on their parking income in 2019/20 according to the RAC Foundation annual publication.
The analysis is aof the standardised financial returns made by 338 English councils to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG).
Only Maidstone, Sevenoaks and Swale councils saw a year-on-year percentage increase in income [2018/19 – 2019/20]. All the rest saw a year on year percentage decrease.
Ten Councils saw an average annual increase since 2015-16.
Canterbury Council found its way into the top twenty earners for parking income outside London, in 2019/20.
Between them the 338 local authorities in England had a total income of £1.746 billion from their on- and off-street parking operations in 2019-20, the same amount as in 2018-19.
Many local authorities parking revenues have been hit by Covid-19.
Thanet, Medway, Folkestone & Hythe & Canterbury Councils were asked for a comment. As of today 27th Jan only Canterbury & Medway have responded.
Leo Whitlock Head of Communications at CCC (pictured) has said:
“Off street parking charges accounts for a significant proportion of Canterbury City Council’s pre-pandemic income and goes straight into paying for the vital frontline services we provide such as council housing, supporting rough sleepers and preventing coastal and river flooding.
“This means the council taxpayer does not need to delve even deeper into their own pockets to provide for these crucial services and others.
“Of course, the district should not be castigated for being popular with shoppers, tourists and other visitors.
“We should celebrate the fact Canterbury is the shopping, heritage and cultural capital of east Kent and we have a gorgeous coastline so people are prepared to pay to visit.
“On top of that, people make an active choice to park in our popular and very convenient city centre car parks and pay the premium that comes with it. They are our by far our busiest.
“And why should Canterbury’s council taxpayers pay for the maintenance of car parks used by people from elsewhere?
“Outside of lockdown, we run an efficient and reliable Park and Ride service in Canterbury where it costs just £3.50 to park a car containing up to six people all day.
“Encouraging people not to add to congestion in the city has to be a good thing.
“And our proposed budget 2021/22, to be decided by councillors in the coming weeks, proposes cutting the cost of more than 1,000 or 40% of our car parking spaces in Canterbury and working with city centre businesses to operate a system of discounts.”
Medway District Council spokesperson has said:
“Our parking charges are amongst the cheapest in the county and the revenue we receive from parking charges is reinvested into Medway’s roads and used for highways improvements.”
The Shepway Vox Team
Journalism for the People NOT the Powerful
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