Kingston Council refute £3 million parking profits
By adam_leone | Friday, January 11, 2013, 10:41
Kingston Council has hit back after claims from the Forum of Private Business that councils up and down the country are "hammering" motorists through parking charges and fines.
Albany Park Road in Kingston Upon Thames
Research released by the Institute of Advanced Motorists has shown that Kingston Council has made over £3.5 million pounds in the last year.
The year before that the IAM claims the authority made over £800,000.
However, a Kingston Council spokesman has said: "Those figures do not represent the real story. Kingston's income has risen by just 9 per cent in the last year."
"We have slashed spending and costs to council tax payers by 20 per cent, saving more than £1million to protect essential services."
Forum spokesman, Robert Downes says: "The high street is sick, and while not a cure-all, free parking for shoppers would be a practical dose of medicine to helping ailing retailers make it to 2014"
In the national figures, Westminster Council topped the list of the councils pocketing parking profits, netting £38 million.
A Kingston Council spokesperson explained where the money they make is going to: "On-street parking cannot be operated for profit, any surplus is earmarked for services."
"This year it will mostly fund travel passes for disabled and elderly people as well as the park and ride scheme - spending which would otherwise come from tax payers' pockets."
"Residents would expect us to use our assets wisely to bring in a reasonable income, but we always balance that with our duty to support the vitality of town centres."
Residents would expect us to use our assets wisely to bring in a reasonable income, but we always balance that with our duty to support the vitality of town centres."
Car park charges have not risen in Kingston since May 2011.