To Many Cars For Our Streets!
Motorists face a shortage of on-street parking as the number of cars on the roads rises. In 1950 there were only two million cars in Britain but now there are 28.5 million. The RAC foundation predicts that within 20 years there will be 32 million.
Cars are also getting bigger. The Ford Focus is 6ft wide, a foot wider than a 1968 Ford Escort. The foundation’s calculations are based on a detailed analysis of housing stock figures compiled by the Department of Communities and Local Government.
Car ownership is set to keep on rising, but where are these vehicles going to go?
Clearly, appropriate parking provision by local authorities has to be paid for and if charges are not levied on drivers then council tax payers will have to foot the bill.
However, the suspicion among many that parking charges are general revenue raisers will not be dispelled by the £500 million surplus councils in England make each year.
With street parking becoming increasingly scarce, the cost of residents’ parking permits is rising quickly, with the average annual fee reaching £96, although some councils charge considerably more, especially for a second car.
Such is the demand that many councils also have a waiting list, with one motorist in mid-Devon not receiving a permit for eight years.
It is estimated that 10 per cent of motorists now have to pay to park their car outside their home.
Parking has, as a result, become a steady source of revenue for councils. Local authorities in London made a £180 million profit from parking in 2009-10. Those outside the capital made a further £310 million.