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9 January 2013, 08:40
Newcastle City Council made £6.2 million in parking fines and charges in 2012 - up 51% on 2011
A study by the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) shows councils in England took more than £411 million in parking charges in 2011/12 - an increase of almost 15% on 2010/11
The IAM claims the amount spent by councils on road safety, education and safe routes to schools, decreased by 18% to £105 million - and overall revenue spending on highways and transport reduced by 6% between 2010/11 and 2011/12.
The figures show the top council "earners'' from parking in 2011/12 outside London were:
* Brighton and Hove - up 18.9% to £13.7 million;
* Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire - up 9.3% to £6.5 million;
* Newcastle upon Tyne - up 51% to £6.2 million.
In a statement, Craig Mordue, Head of Parking Services at Newcastle City Council said:
"The increased revenue was achieved by reducing expenditure and increasing some parking charges.
The additional income is reinvested into running critical Council Services and it has also enabled us to introduce free parking after 5pm in the city centre to support the retail sector.
These changes, which were subject to extensive consultation, have been well received by businesses and shoppers."
Local Government Minister Brandon Lewis said:
"The coalition Government has scrapped the last government's rules which forced up parking charges and demanded aggressive planning enforcement. Councils should now be supporting their local high streets and wider economy.
Under our local government finance reforms, councils will now benefit from calling off the war on the motorist, encouraging shoppers and growing their town centres.
However, the analysis by the Institute is wrong. Income from on-street and off-street parking only rose by 3.7% in the last year, which is lower than the prevailing rate of inflation.
The Institute have failed to adjust for the fact that councils have cut costs through efficiency savings.''