COUN­CILS COIN IN £17M FROM PARK­ING FEES

Glossop Advertiser - - Front Page - Steve Rob­son

COUN­CILS across the re­gion made al­most £17MILLION in profit from park­ing last year. Head­ing the list is Manch­ester, which made nearly £10m from mo­torists.

New fig­ures an­a­lysed by our sis­ter pa­per the M.E.N. show the au­thor­ity is by far the most suc­cess­ful in the re­gion in mak­ing money out of mo­torists.

By com­par­i­son, Rochdale coun­cil made just £17,000 profit from park­ing and Old­ham coun­cil just £40,000 in 2017/18.

In the past decade, the cost to coun­cils for pro­vid­ing park­ing has fallen slightly, while the amount of in­come from ‘sales, charges and fees’ has risen, data shows. Manch­ester made £9.4m last year, an in­crease of around 20 per cent. Traf­ford was the sec­ond high­est with £1.7m, a rise of nearly 75pc.

Across Greater Manch­ester there is marked dif­fer­ence in how much coun­cils charge.

Park­ing in Manch­ester’s ‘Zone 1’, the area around the town hall and the bot­tom of Deans­gate costs £6 for two hours, Mon­day to Sun­day be­tween 8am and 8pm.

On Drake Street in the cen­tre of Rochdale, park­ing is free for the first three hours, Mon­day to Sat­ur­day be­tween 8am-6pm and then costs £1.60 up to six hours.

Driv­ing or­gan­i­sa­tions crit­i­cised the ris­ing prof­its, claim­ing it leaves mo­torists with less money to spend on strug­gling town cen­tre high streets and ac­cus­ing coun­cils of us­ing park­ing prof­its to prop up other ser­vices.

A Manch­ester coun­cil spokesman said: “Park­ing en­force­ment is es­sen­tial to help en­sure the safe and ef­fi­cient flow of traf­fic and keep the city mov­ing, with rev­enue re­ceived from fines rein­vested in high­ways projects.”

Coun Martin Tett, trans­port spokesman for the Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment As­so­ci­a­tion, said park­ing is spent on run­ning park­ing ser­vices, with any sur­plus only spent on es­sen­tial trans­port projects, such as tack­ling a na­tional £9bn roads re­pair back­log, and on other projects that ben­e­fit high streets and lo­cal economies.

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