Fall in revenue from car parking for first time in four years
MONEY made from car parking fees and fines fell in Bolton for the first time in four years — bucking the national trend of local authorities raking in record profits.
Bolton Council made just over £800,000 from car parking changes and penalty notices in 2012/13 after running costs, according to a report by the RAC Foundation.
It used data from the annual returns councils make to the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG).
The figure of £813,000 before capital charges (interest and depreciation) is drastically down on the previous year’s figure of £1.3 million.
The council is ranked 160 out of 353 local authorities for the surplus it makes — last year it was 116th.
And parking chiefs stressed the scheme mainly broke even with any extra income being reinvested into traffic management projects.
Steve Arnfield, Bolton’s deputy chief executive, said the figures “didn’t match up to the overall picture” and when all costs were taken into account the surplus was £350,000.
Mr Arnfield said: “We are not about making money from this, but are instead all about controlling parking.”
He added there was “a reasonable and responsible approach to parking in Bolton”.
Bolton was found to be more “motorist” friendly than neighb-ouring authorities with Manchester among the top 10 earners, according to the RAC Foundation.
It made almost £9 million from parking charges and fines.
Bury, which introduced Sunday parking charges, brought in a surplus of £1,173,000.
Nationally, in 2012/13 councils in England generated a combined profit of £594 million from their on and off-street parking operations — with the largest surplus being Westminster, which made nearly £40 million The RAC said although not all councils made a large surplus, very few lose money on their parking activities with just 52 of the parking authorities in England reporting negative numbers. Currently there is free parking for shoppers in Bolton.
Since October 28, parking at three multi-storey car parks — Deane Road, the Octagon and Topp Way — is free after 3pm. Those car parks will also be free today and on New Year’s Day.
The promotion is set to continue until January 10.
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