Parking attendants 'on the rise' across UK

 
Parking attendants Data was provided by more than 200 UK councils

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The number of parking attendants hired by councils has risen by nearly 6% since 2008, figures have suggested.

During the same period, 17% of councils reduced free parking, according to UK-wide data sourced by LV car insurance.

It comes as local authorities make significant budget and job cuts.

Local Government Minister Bob Neill said there was "no excuse" for using motorists as "cash cows", but a body representing some UK councils said regulating parking was "essential".

Data provided by more than 200 UK councils as part of a Freedom of Information request, suggested a 5.8% jump in the number of parking attendants, with numbers increasing from 3,630 to 3,841 between 2008 and 2012.

Some 10% of councils have increased the number of on-duty parking attendants by at least 20%, it suggested.

Average council areas now have some 16 parking attendants enforcing traffic, parking and other laws, while London boroughs have 51, the data also showed.

And 10% of drivers have received parking fines over the last 12 months, with those hit paying out £340 - about £96 per offending driver.

'Cash cows'

Of the councils that provided information, Westminster hired the most parking attendants with 242, while Islington in north London had 135, followed by Edinburgh with 121, and Lambeth in south London with 99.

Meanwhile, 57% of drivers said parking in their nearest town was more difficult now than in 2008, with 7% thinking it was easier, according to another LV survey of 1,583 motorists.

Start Quote

We want to see councils use parking to support the High Street and help their local shops prosper”

End Quote Bob Neill Local Government Minister

Some 18% of drivers revealed they had parked illegally in the last year.

Local Government Minister Bob Neill said: "There are plenty of other ways for councils to raise extra income or make savings like better procurement and sharing back-office services.

"We want to see councils use parking to support the High Street and help their local shops prosper.

"That's why we have ended the last government's requirements to limit spaces, push up parking charges and encourage aggressive parking enforcement."

But the Local Government Association (LGA), which represents councils in England and Wales, said good management of parking was vital.

"Regulating parking is essential to keep traffic flowing, pedestrians and motorists safe, roads clear for emergency services and business deliveries, deterring drivers from blocking roads and pavements, and ensuring people can park near their homes or local shops," said Tony Ball, vice-chairman of the LGA's economy and transport board.

"With the number of cars on our roads increasing, it's more crucial than ever that on-street parking is properly managed."

'Cash-strapped motorists'

He also said that towns and city centres no longer had the space to "keep creating more parking spaces".

"Councils have worked hard to improve public transport and cycling provision to encourage more people to leave their car at home unless driving is essential," said Mr Ball.

"Any revenue raised from parking management must be spent on transport services such as filling potholes, bus passes for the elderly, park and ride schemes, street lights, parking services and road improvement projects, things which will benefit all road users at some point."

John O'Roarke, managing director at LV, said the lack of free parking in council areas was "putting increasing pressure on cash-strapped motorists", with many "resorting to parking illegally".

"This problem is being exacerbated as councils increase the number of paid parking zones in their areas and take on more parking attendants to police them," said Mr O'Roarke.

He also advised drivers visiting busy areas to plan ahead and "consider parking slightly further away to avoid high parking charges".

"Many cities now offer park-and-ride schemes, which are a fraction of the cost of inner city parking," he said.

 

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  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 105.

    Traffic wardens are needed, many of the comments here are from people who have been caught not paying for parking.
    some people would drive their cars up stairs and into toilet cubicles if you let them. anything so long as they don't have to walk six inches more.
    More traffic wardens please

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 101.

    I hardly ever shop in town now because of parking difficulties and the high costs - I shop online whenever possible because delivery costs are often less than the combined costs of parking and petrol or use out of town centres where parking is easy and free. I'm sure I'm not alone - this must be crippling the high street shops

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 96.

    This is good news so long as they are used in town/city centres. Poor selfish parking on red routes and busy streets costs time & money and is extremely annoying.

    However I fear they will be used to over-police residential parking zones in quieter suburban areas. It's what my council does and it's pathetic.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 86.

    10 years ago I got a £40 parking ticket in a town centre car park as I was 15 minutes over the 3 hours I had paid for.

    I paid the fine but have never been back again.

    This is short term thinking from councils who will do anything except spend less.

  • rate this
    +7

    Comment number 33.

    Even retail parks have time limits on them despite being virtually empty. Had to leave yesterday as by the time we got to the last store to look at buying a camera the time was up so we left without making a purchase. Got home and bought the item online instead. A sure way of doing local businesses out of trade.

 

Comments 5 of 9

 

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