Councils hike parking charges 400%
A survey by the Sunday Times found 57 of 96 councils have increased their parking charges or extended charging hours, adding further pressure to fraught drivers already battling insurance and fuel hikes.
The survey found residents in some areas are being hit by 400% rises in parking charges - meaning many motorists are coughing up more than £100 to park on their own street.
Councils are also hiking up pay and display charges and the price of visitor permits above the rate of inflation. Many more are also extending the hours during which drivers must pay, to include evenings, Sundays and bank holidays.
Edmund King, president of the AA, said: "Some local authorities are targeting drivers in an unfair manner because it disproportionately hits some people who live in a particular areas and have no choice - especially those who cannot afford a garage or driveway.
"Raising parking charges is another attack on the motorist, who is already suffering record fuel and insurance prices - but they are an easy target."
The survey by the Sunday Times found 57 of 96 councils surveyed had increased their charges or extended charging hours. Of the 46 which set out their higher charges, the average increase was 44%.
Councils are supposed to set fees in line with the costs of enforcing the restrictions, but are accused of ramping up the charges to make a profit.
The biggest parking charge increases
- Barnet, North London - Visitor's permits £1 per car to £4 per car - 300% increase. Resident's permits £40 per car to £100 per car - 150% increase
- Tunbridge Wells, Kent - Resident's £20 to £40 - 100% increase
- Woking, Surrey - Resident's £10 to £50 - 400% increase
- Rugby, Warwickshire - Pay and display 40p per hour to £1per hour -150% increase
- Cambridge - Resident's permit £41 to £76 - 85% increase
- Islington, North London - Resident's permit - £85 to £109
- Bexley, south east London - Resident's £70 to £100 - 40% increase
- Havering, Essex - Residents £13.20 to £20 - 52% increase
- Bedfordshire - Pay and Display 50p to £1 for two hours - 100% increase
- Manchester City Centre - Pay and Display £2.20 to £2.70 per hour - 22% increase