Leeds’ parking profits on the rise

editorial image
Have your say

THE CITY’S motorists have contributed more to record national profits from parking fees and fines than road users in any other local authority area in Yorkshire.

A report published today by the RAC shows that Leeds City Council recorded the biggest profit in the region from parking charges and penalties in the last year - £7.2million, compared to £6.8m the year before.

Overall, local councils in Yorkshire made a £33.2m profit from parking activities in 2014/15, contributing to record ever £693m total profits generated by local authorities nationally - a four per cent rise on the total sum for 2013/14.

Describing the overall profits as “eye-watering”, Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation, said the revenue must be used to improve transport infrastructure.

He said: “The legal position is that parking charges are to be used as a tool for managing traffic. But with local government budgets under ever-greater pressure the temptation to see them as a fundraiser must be intense.”

Mr Gooding praised Leeds Council for its annual report on how its surplus is spent, adding: “The bottom line is that restrictions and charges should always be about managing traffic and never about revenue raising.”

A spokesman for Leeds Council said managing demand for parking, keeping traffic and the economy moving, and encouraging people to make the most of public transport was a “delicate balance”, and added: “Any surplus income which is generated from parking charges by the council is used to help pay for improvements to the transport infrastructure.”