Bury pays £2 million in parking fines and charges in 2013

This Is Lancashire: More than £2m was paid out by motorists over the last year in parking fines and charges in Bury More than £2m was paid out by motorists over the last year in parking fines and charges in Bury

MOTORISTS paid out more than £2 million in parking fines and car park charges over the last year, new figures show.

Bury Council brought in £660,000 in “profit” — with £1.45 million of the original income spent on operating the car parking service.

The surplus went towards “other transportation costs and maintenance of highways” the council said.

Statistics released by the RAC Foundation show Bury was the 127th in a league table of 353 councils around the country which generated the highest profits.

However, its figures suggest the council’s surplus was £1.1 million.

A Bury Council spokesman said surpluses from parking charges are not profit and are put back into maintenance works.

He said: “The first call on the income from car parking charges is the maintenance of car parks.

“If further off-street parking is not needed then the revenues from fines, residents’ parking permits, parking meters and car parks are ring-fenced, to be used for further traffic and parking schemes, public transport services, highway or road improvement projects or for environmental improvement in the local authority's area.”

The figures come as it was revealed that Bury Council generated £25,000 since the introduction of Sunday parking charges in July.

Drivers in Bury must pay a £1 standard charge at council owned car parks on Sundays.

The council faced criticism from Tory councillor Roy Walker, who said that neighbouring authorities such as Bolton and Rochdale were offering free parking at the weekends and questioned why Bury was not having similar initiatives.

Neighbouring Bolton Council generated £813,000 in parking charges, and was ranked 60th in the table, while Manchester City Council generated £8.7 million and was placed ninth in the country.

Professor Stephen Glaister, director of the RAC Foundation, said: “Once again English councils have made record amounts from parking.“

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