Swindon & Wiltshire Business News

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Startling new figures reveal parking price hike for motorists in England, says FSB

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The amount motorists pay to councils across England in parking charges and fines has increased by almost 10 per cent in the last five years, according to the Federation of Small Businesses.

Data obtained by the lobbying group following a Freedom of Information (FOI) request shows most regions taking more money from motorists.

For the first time the FSB has asked all councils to detail their total income from parking, permit and penalty notice charges.

In 2008 this was £810 million, increasing to £884 million in 2011 – a rise of almost 10 per cent.

The FSB believes there is a clear connection with protecting local high streets and the impact that parking charges can have, and has called on local authorities to work closely with the business community and residents to get a more effective parking policy in place.

The FSB wants to see business groups and central and local government join forces to discuss creative solutions to the parking issues faced by regions, with heavy parking charges used only as a last resort.

John Allan, national chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses, said: "We know there is no such thing as free parking, but local authorities need a voice in the local community about how the cost and availability of parking affects their business. We know that budgets are tight, but we don't want to see parking being used as a revenue grab.

"FSB experience shows that when parking charges are introduced many shops suffer. The recent idea to allow parking on double yellow lines was met with fierce criticism in some areas. We believe this shows the need for a wide debate on the issue and how localised it is. 

“We want to see organisations and local authorities come together to discuss parking provision to make it work, not just for business, but for customers too."