Parking fines across much of Britain could almost double to a standard fee of £120. Drivers in London currently pay that much but elsewhere it is £70, reduced by half if you pay quickly.
But local councils across the country say £35 isn’t enough of a deterrent because in some town centres it costs almost that much for a day’s parking. And a number of authorities have already asked the Govt’s permission to make such an increase.
But opponents of the move say it is a clear case of councils looking to boost revenue at a time when budgets are squeezed. And that would be a clear breach of Government guidelines, which say that fines shouldn’t be used to increase profits.
The British Parking Association, which represents councils and car park operators, says fines need to be substantially higher than the cost of a day’s parking – otherwise they don’t act as a deterrent.
It also argues that fines need to rise to ensure that the cost of parking management and enforcement. Last year, British motorists paid £325m in fines.
The Automobile Association, which opposes the increase, says there is evidence that the number of parking tickets is falling and that the current cost of fines is enough of a deterrent.
The increases demanded would take the form of a ‘stealth’ tax, the AA claimed.