Parking fees bonanza for authorities
Parking chiefs in Ipswich and the surrounding area have been criticised after new figures reveal large increases in money made from parking penalties.
IPSWICH: Parking chiefs in Ipswich and the surrounding area have been criticised after new figures reveal large increases in money made from parking penalties.
Figures obtained by the TaxPayers' Alliance show that the bank balances of borough and district councils in Ipswich, Babergh, Suffolk Coastal and Mid Suffolk were increased in the space of a year.
The biggest increase recorded in Suffolk was by Babergh District Council - which includes the town of Hadleigh - which saw a rise from �15,057 to �80,765.
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Ipswich Borough Council also recorded a large increase from �351,587 to �381,021.
The TaxPayers' Alliance last night accused the councils of treating motorists like cash cows.
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Jennifer Dunn, policy analyst with the Drivers Alliance and the TaxPayers' Alliance said: “For many councils parking fines have become a lucrative source of income.
“But while revenues are being made at the cost of the motorist, taxpayers haven't seen their council tax fall, or their local services improve.
“Motorists are being treated like cash cows, but the only people that appear to be benefiting are wardens and their bosses.”
Suffolk Coastal District Council saw an increase from �163,917 to �187,174 and Mid Suffolk District Council's figure rose from �26,892 to �31,924.
The total amount of money made by Suffolk's seven district councils in 2008/9 was �1,038,543. This was an increase of 5per cent on the previous year's figure of �985,506.
A spokesperson at Babergh District Council said: “The rules are simple: park free for three hours and display a ticket - non display or overstay results in a fine.”
An Ipswich Borough Council spokesman said: “Our parking service is now back at full strength and is effective in keeping traffic moving and preventing illegal parking.
“All the money raised goes towards running the service and our message is simple - don't park illegally and you won't be fined.”