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Park and Free Ride

Councils Profit £40 million from Parking. Can We Share in Their Success?

LOCAL authorities in Scotland are making £40 million from parking charges and motorists are understandably puzzled by the scale of the charges.

Scottish Council’s profits rose by 12 per cent this year, in spite of the fact that UK inflation rose by only 2.3 per cent. Almost half of all Scotland’s councils have seen a considerable increase in profits relative to their average annual figures.

Edinburgh was the city that saw the greatest surge in prices, earning £19.4 million. This sky-high figure was followed shortly behind by Glasgow, with £12.6 million and Aberdeen with £4.9million.

The question on many people’s lips is why Edinburgh, in particular, should be so expensive?

Edinburgh Council’s transport convenor explained, “As Scotland’s capital it is essential that we keep the city moving, and parking restrictions ensure accessibility for all road users by maintaining road safety and encouraging free flow of vehicles.”

Sounds good. We all want healthy arterial roads and the right people to watch over them.

Edinburgh has a small centre, and so additional restrictions are necessary for efficient transport within and around the city. Moreover, high prices for drivers encourage the use of public transport, which not only reduces congestion but also prevents some wear on Edinburgh’s roads.

But this explanation doesn’t fully satisfy the hardy Edinburgher’s desire for answers.

The silver lining to this recent revelation that we are all looking for is that any profits earned by Scottish councils must be reinvested into maintaining and improving infrastructure.

We can all hope to see a more comfortable drive coming to a road near us soon – but as long-suffering road-users our optimism knows its limits

With an average of £226,000 spent each day by drivers parking in Scotland’s towns and cities, we might hope that a sizeable chunk can be used to give our streets the shot in the arm they need.

With the roads in the state they are is really fair we pay for it…twice?

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