Bedford Borough Council made more than £1.4m from car parking charges

Nearly £1.4m was made through parking fees in Bedford, according to recent figures.

Tuesday, 5th December 2017, 9:15 am
Updated Tuesday, 12th December 2017, 9:35 am
The council made a surplus on parking

Bedford Borough Council raised £1.4m in surplus via car parks in 2016/17 – which ranked it the 128th highest sum in the UK.

It marks an increase of 18 per cent from 2015/16, where the council raked in £1.18m, and it’s a significant decrease on three years ago, where the figures was £641,000.

In comparison, nearby authorities such as Central Bedfordshire brought in £468,000, Aylesbury Vale brought in £1.2m, while Milton Keynes raked in a staggering £11.2m.

The figures come from the RAC Foundation, which found English councils made a record £819m from their parking operations in the last financial year.

Westminster had the largest surplus in England at £73.2m, up 31 per cent on the previous year, while North Yorkshire council had the biggest deficit at -£1.646m.

Charity director Steve Gooding said the record sums will be spent on improving the road network.

“The upward path in profits is in part a reflection of the record number of cars and volume of traffic,” he said.

“The silver lining for drivers is that these surpluses must almost exclusively be ploughed back into transport and as any motorist will tell you there is no shortage of work to be done.

“We welcome the fact that councils are increasingly investing in technology to help make parking easier and less stressful. Westminster, for example, has created an app which directs drivers to free parking bays, helping to end the motoring misery of prowling the streets looking for a space.

“We urge motorists to take the time to read their own local authority’s parking report so they can see both the rationale for charges in their area and how the surplus is being spent.”