In the last five years there has been a 227% increase in revenue from parking fees and fines, with the amount moving from £3.8m in 2011/12 to £5.4m in 2015/16. In these five years, the Council earned £21.3m from parking fees and fines. We caught up with the Transport team, which is responsible for administering this area, to ask some questions about why there has been a quantum leap in revenue.
Q1. How much money did you make in parking fees and parking fines in the last five years?
A. We earned £21,316,448 of which 73% was parking fees and 27% was parking fines. The full breakdown is:
Q2. How much of the £5,683,162 were on and off road PCNs and how much bus lane camera PCNs?
A. Our accounting systems does not differentiate between payment for different types of PCNs so it is not possible to say.
Q3. Is there a move to recoup more money from parking fees and fines in order to make up for budget cuts elsewhere in the Council?
A. Absolutely not! Parking fees and fines are used to pay the cost of running the service which is £2.5m per year. The surplus from this goes into a reserve fund and the law states that we can only spend this surplus on car parks and road improvements.
Q4. Which law is that?
A. Section 55 of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984
Q5. From your statistics you have had £8.8m surplus in the last five years, how was this money used?
A. The surplus money goes into a general fund for highways, footways and car park maintenance as specified in Section 55 of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984. One of the biggest single item of expenditure, for example, was approximately £1.1m for car park building repairs and maintenance, replacement equipment, communications technology, software and hardware costs.
Q6. What is the reason for the increase in revenue from parking fees and fines?
A. There are perhaps two main reasons. One is that there has been an increase in the number of vehicles using our car parks. For example in 2014/15 we earned £2.8m from car park fees. The following year this increased to £3.0m but there was no increase in those fees. In fact, we have had no price increases since 2014.
The second reason is that since we introduced bus lane cameras there has been an increase in the number of bus lane PCNs issued. Between January 2015 and December 2016 a total of 48,763 bus lane PCN’s were issued.
Q7. Isn’t this evidence that the Council is making a windfall from bus lane PCNs?
A. Bus lane cameras were not installed to make money. They were installed to prevent people driving in the bus lane as a result of complaints from bus companies and other highway users.
We would like to reach a point where we issue no bus lane PCNs because this will give priority to public transport to improve punctuality and reliability which is what we want to achieve.
In some areas we are seeing behavioural change and a reduction in the number of violations. For example, we have seen an 8% decline in Normanton Road and a 55% decline in Nottingham Road. We want to see the number of violations falling for all other areas.
Q8. Isn’t it unfair to automatically issue a bus lane PCNs for every car that crosses into a bus lane? Some encroachments might well be legitimate.
A. We do not automatically issue bus lane PCNs. When a vehicle enters the bus lane, we are alerted. Each day we go through the footage to ascertain why it happened. If for example, someone pulled in a bus lane to give way to an emergency vehicle, no PCN is issued. Or if there were a road blockage forcing vehicles to divert through the bus lane, no PCN would be issued. There is quality control and human intervention in the process.
Q9. How do the bus lane cameras work? Are they the same as CCTV?
A. The cameras we use for bus lanes/bus stops are specifically for that purpose. They are the type approved by the Department for Transport for that purpose. They are not recording around the clock, like CCTV, but are only triggered if a vehicle enters the bus lane. These are reviewed by an officer to ascertain if a violation has occurred.
Q10. Where can I find more stats and facts on parking?
A. We have an FAQ page on our website which is frequently updated.
Published: Tuesday 31st January 2017