Earning almost Rs 20,000 crore in revenue, this amount might be mistaken for the income of an entire industry. However, it’s remarkably similar to the annual income generated by councils in the UK through parking fees, with the London council leading the way in terms of profit.
According to The Metro News, local authorities throughout England have banked 1.95 billion pounds (approximately Rs 20,000 crores) from parking fees, permits, fines, and car park rent in 2022-23, with drivers accusing councils of ripping them off with charges of up to 6 pounds (Rs 605) an hour. Both totals have surpassed pre-pandemic levels to surge to an all-time high, while still not including money raked in from clean air zones and low-traffic neighborhoods, which growing numbers of councils have been rolling out.
The most expensive parking spots can be found in the west London boroughs of Hammersmith, Fulham, Kensington, and Chelsea, which have seen councils scoop up 41 million pounds in profits after charging people up to 6 pounds an hour to park there.
The exorbitant parking fees are forcing residents to opt for public transportation instead of using their own vehicles.
Charlie Neil, who lives in Earl’s Court, told MailOnline that the extortionate prices were now forcing him to take public transport.
“When I park, 100 percent of the price has gone up’, he said. ‘I live on the West Cromwell Road, and I think it’s 5 pounds an hour (the actual figure is 4.70 pounds).”
“Yesterday after work, I went just past Marble Arch, and somebody said, Charlie, why don’t you drive? And I was like, well, I couldn’t drive because one, there’s congestion charge, and then you’ve got Ulez, and the trying to find parking.”
“If you pay the residential permit, it actually works out very, very cheaply; you might pay 75 or 80 pesos a day. But if somebody comes outside or you don’t have a permit and you want to park for two hours, then it’s 10 pounds, 12 pounds. You realise you’re just spending hundreds.”