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The RAC has called for local councils to act soon to reduce parking fines and increase the amount of parking space made available to motorists.
Following a ‘Report on Motoring 2014’ recently published by the RAC and based on a survey of more than 1,500 motorists, the group has revealed that 80 per cent of those people questioned in the survey said they had noticed an increase in parking fines, whilst two thirds of respondents felt there was less parking space available in the centre of their particular town or city.
One quarter of those questioned reported an increase in patrols by traffic wardens in their areas, whilst 20 per cent said that parking spaces which they had previously used in the past 12 months were now being charged for.
The RAC believes that the problem lies with the local authorities who are looking to raise extra revenue to fill in the gaps in their budgets, and have named it “the Great British parking squeeze”, calling on councils to make parking easier and cheaper.
David Bizley, the RAC’s technical director, said: “Councils need to understand that most people are still highly dependent on their cars for shopping, and punitive parking charges not only hurt motorists but also impacts on the health of local high streets and businesses.
“A busy town centre with free parking will invariably be better for local residents and the local economy than one where paid-for parking which brings in funds for the council but deters shoppers.”
In response to claims by the RAC, the Local Government Association have strongly denied these claims. A spokesman said: “This report is not a true reflection of the reality of parking in our communities. Councils remain on the side of hard-pressed motorists by keeping a lid on parking charges which are only set to rise with inflation this year.
“Local government is already the most open and transparent part of the public sector. Many councils already publish annual parking reports to make it easier and clearer for residents to understand and combat the deep-rooted misconceptions about parking.”
Do you struggle to find free areas to park in your local town or city? Do you agree that parking fines have increased in the past 12 months? Why not tell us your thoughts on the subject below.