Cost of east London parking rockets as councils cash in

Town Hall bosses in east London are coining in close on £14 million a year charging motorists to park, latest figures reveal.

Most local authorities in Greater London saw their income from street parking and off-street car parks rise above inflation.

Newham alone doubled its cash flow from £3.5 million in 2011 to a cool £7m last year, an increase of 100 per cent in just 12 months, according to research by the Institute of Advanced Motorists.

Neighbouring Tower Hamlets was one of the few councils to have reduced earnings—but still netted just under £5.8m, compared to £5.9m the year before.

Hackney’s revenue shot up by more than a quarter to £5.7m, while the City’s was up 36 per cent to £4m.

Barking & Dagenham’s income shot up 174 per cent to £1.5m, with Havering’s earnings up 186 per cent to almost £600,000.

But the amount spent on road safety education and publicity across London fell by 22 per cent, from £12.7m to £9.9m, the Institute points out.

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“London’s councils must recognise the financial burdens already faced by motorists and rule out any further rises in parking fees,” urged the institute’s chief executive Simon Best.

“Some authorities are making enormous profits from parking, while cutting road safety spending on services such as rehabilitation courses, education for young drivers and schemes for safe routes to schools.”

Spending below-inflation on road maintenance will mean a backlog of repairs which will cost more to fix in the long term, the drivers’ organisation warned.

Local authorities in London made £218m from parking charges in total, an increase of almost 18 per cent on the year before when they made £185m, the Institute’s figures using Department for Communities & Local Government data reveal.

Top earner in 2012 was Westminster, including the lucrative West End, which pulled in £38m, a rise of nearly nine per cent, while its rich neighbour Kensington & Chelsea took in £27.5m, a 30 per cent boost on the previous 12 months.