Councils look to drivers to claw back lost money



Local councils are set to massively increase the charges they levy on drivers in order to try and claw back some of the money they've lost in the recent spending cuts.

Dozens of councils across the country are planning to introduce metered parking and residents zones where they will charge for permission to park outside the house.
Liverpool council is the worst culprit, with plans to introduce 14km of restricted parking zones.

"Councils are treating motorists as an easy source of revenue, using price rises to fill empty coffers," said Nigel Humphries from the Association of British Drivers.

Estimates suggest that motorists could face spending £1.5bn in this financial year on parking charges, fines and permits – an average of £50 each.

The Conservative party indicated during last year's election campaign that it would end the war on the motorist, but the cost of driving has gone relentlessly up.

The cost of a tank of petrol has risen significantly - AA president Edmund King said: "For every 100 miles you travel by car it costs you £2 more than it did last year due to the high cost of diesel and unleaded."

Insurance premiums have also jumped massively and now local authorities want to increase general parking charges by an average of eight percent according to estimates published in the Telegraph.

Councils will have to reinvest any money they make from the increases, however, according to Peter Box, chairman of the Local Government Association's Economy and Transport Board. "Councils are not allowed to use parking charges or fines purely to make profit," he said.

"Surplus money received from motorists is invested back into improving roads and the local transport network."

With roads still scarred with potholes from a heavy winter, motorists will no doubt be wondering where the money will come from next.
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