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Birmingham City Council's parking profits soar to £9.8m

An Opposition councillor said the rising costs for drivers was part of a wider “anti-car narrative” at the authority

Parking charges in Birmingham
Parking meter in Birmingham

Birmingham City Council’s profit from parking charges soared by a quarter last year – to nearly £10 million.

The council brought in £9.8 million from parking in 2014/15, up from £7.7 million the year before.

An Opposition councillor said the rising costs for drivers was part of a wider “anti-car narrative” at the authority.

However, the council pointed out any surplus from parking charges was ploughed back into the service.

Meirion Jenkins, shadow cabinet member for skills, learning & culture, said rising parking charges, like the controversial enforcement of bus lane fines last year, penalised people with little alternative but to use cars.

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Coun Jenkins (Con Four Oaks) said: “This is all part of an anti-car narrative. I like using the train, but you have to recognise so many people from this city rely on motor transport.

“When you look to the council’s transport policies, if it was just to encourage people onto public transport that would be fine – but it seems like an anti-car narrative to me and I find that objectionable.

“We shouldn’t penalise someone for going about their normal business. It is the motor trade that keeps the wheels of this city turning.

“If Birmingham had public transport like in London, it would be understandable, but the truth is many people can’t get into the city centre without using motor vehicles.”

The council brought in £19.2 million in revenue from on and off street parking last year, while operating the service cost less than £9.5 million, leaving a profit of £9.8 million.

MORE: Ten-year plan unveiled to shake-up Birmingham's transport system

Unsurprisingly, as the largest authority Birmingham has the largest profit in the region from parking.

Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council has seen profits more than triple in a year, from £293,000 in 2013/14 to £944,000 in 2014/15, while Walsall Council made a loss – spending £260,000 more running parking services in last year than it brought in income.

Across England, figures from councils show the gap between parking income and parking expenditure rose by four per cent, from £660.3 million in 2013/14 to £687.6 million in 2014/15.

A Birmingham City Council spokesperson said: “This information is available in our annual parking report. The report also states that the surplus from parking is reinvested in the service, improving roads and car parks. This is not about making a profit but about maintaining a quality parking service.”

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