Council reassures motorists

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COUNCIL bosses have reassured residents that “most” of the revenue from parking charges and penalty fines is put back into funding parking services.

Councils across the country have come under fire after statistics compiled by the Department for Communities and Local Government show local authorities are in line to make £635m profit from motorists’ parking - a marked increase on previous years.

But, Hartlepool Borough Council has responded to the figures by revealing its net income from pay and display charges in 2012/13 compared to 2011/12, which has so far fallen by more than £53,000.

The council’s net income from pay and display charges and penalty fines was £331,881 in 2011/12 compared to £278,828 in 2012/13.

And councillor Peter Jackson, chairman of Hartlepool Borough Council’s neighbourhood services committee, said most of that income is spent on parking services in the town.

Coun Jackson told the Mail: “It must be emphasised that most of the total revenue from parking charges and penalty fines is used to fund the running of the parking service.

“This includes employee costs, enforcement and maintenance of ticket machines and other equipment.

“The net income is used to help support council-funded traffic, transport and highway schemes including road safety and casualty reduction initiatives.”

Coun Jackson added: “As a council we are always striving to produce good value for money services and car parking on Sundays has always been free.

“We have also introduced free parking after 4pm in many of our town centre car parks to encourage usage.

“We regularly review our charges and feel that they are very competitive in comparison with neighbouring areas.”