With a turnover of almost Rs 20,000 crore, this amount could be mistaken for the income of an entire industry. However, it is remarkably similar to the annual income that councils in Britain generate from parking charges, with the London council leading the way in terms of profits.
According to The Metro News, local authorities across England have collected £1.95 billion (approximately Rs 20,000 crores) in parking fees, permits, fines and parking rentals during 2022-2023, with drivers accusing councils of defrauding them with allegations of maximum up to 6 pounds (Rs 605) per hour. Both totals have surpassed pre-pandemic levels and have risen to record highs, while still not taking into account the money brought in from clean air zones and low-traffic neighborhoods, which a growing number of municipalities have taken advantage of.
The most expensive parking spaces are in the West London boroughs of Hammersmith, Fulham, Kensington and Chelsea, where councils have reaped £41 million in profits after charging people up to £6 an hour to park there.
The exorbitant parking fees force residents to opt for public transport instead of using their own cars.
Charlie Neil, who lives in Earl’s Court, told MailOnline that excessive prices were now forcing him to take public transport.
“When I park, the price has gone up 100 percent,” he said. “I live on West Cromwell Road and I think it is £5 an hour (the actual figure is £4.70).”
“Yesterday after work I was just driving past Marble Arch and someone said, Charlie, why don’t you drive? And I thought, well, I couldn’t drive because there’s a congestion charge, and then there’s Ulez, and trying to get a find a parking space.”
“If you pay for the residence permit, it actually works out very cheap; you might pay 75 or 80 pesos per day. But if someone comes out or you don’t have a permit and you want to park for two hours, then it’s £10, £12. You realize you’re just spending hundreds.”