Parking fees could rise by 10% if local authorities increase their property charges – will your local authority raise prices?
DRIVERS could be stung by increases in parking fees of up to 10% if councilors’ property fee rises.
Local authorities have been accused of treating motorists like a “money cow” while trying to increase parking fees amid a cost of living Crisis.
A number of councils, including those in York, Southend, Thanet and the London Borough of Waltham Forest, have already announced that they will increase parking charges by double-digit percentages from April.
In even more extreme steps, Cornwall Council plans to increase the price of an hourly ticket at tourist hotspots by 29% to £2.20.
Dudley Council will increase the cost of a one-day ticket by 43% to £5, while Bristol City Council will double prices at popular attractions.
Price increases not only affect car owners, but some municipalities are extending charging times into the late evening and charging in previously free areas and increasing parking fines.
Jack Cousens, AA’s road policy director, hit out at the plans, saying: “Residents could soon be ‘voting with their wheels’ and deciding it’s easier, maybe even cheaper, to avoid the city center altogether and shop online.
“Maybe worse for communities with rising fees, they might drive to the neighboring town or city and spend their hard-earned money there.”
He added that communities are becoming increasingly dependent on the money they take from motorists.
Figures show local authorities in this country rake in around £1.8 billion a year from parking fees alone.
Hugh Bladon of the Alliance of British Drivers said: “Local councils just can’t seem to get their head around the idea that by making it difficult and expensive for people to drive into their town and city centers they are killing business there .
“It’s so short-sighted because it means more boarded up stores and less revenue from commercial tariffs in the long run.
“I know that municipalities are tight on cash, but why are drivers always the first target when they need cash? They should focus on getting rid of all the non-jobs in their offices.”
However, council officials have defended the increases, saying they need the extra money to fund services like social care as prices spiral out of control.
Stephen George, the Labor leader of Southend Council, blamed government cuts, arguing that less funding meant councils “needed to be more financially independent and rely more on the income we can generate locally”.
It comes as families are expected to see a 5% increase in council tax after ministers lifted the annual cap on the tax rate as councilors called for more money.
Other councils are also expected to increase prices for other services, including funerals and marriages.
A spokesman for the Local Government Association, which represents more than 350 councils in England and Walessaid: “The cost of providing public services has increased dramatically with the rapid increase inflation.
“Many councils face major challenges and difficult decisions as they set their budgets and try to protect services from cuts next year.”
https://www.thesun.ie/motors/10032954/parking-charges-councils-plot-fee-increase/ Parking fees could rise by 10% if local authorities increase their property charges – will your local authority raise prices?