Councils to raise parking charges
* 150 councils to increase charges * Accusations of taxing motorists * Is it legal?...
Councils have been accused of increasing the cost of car parking and parking permits to raise cash rather than ease congestion or improve safety.
According to the Sunday Telegraph, 150 councils have introduced, or plan to introduce, higher car parking charges this year.
These include 40 councils that have brought in car parking charges to areas where parking was previously free, and 12 councils that are extending chargeable hours to bring in extra funds.
Is it legal?
Stephen Glaister of the RAC Foundation said that on-street parking fees can be set only to relieve or prevent congestion.
He said: 'For cash-strapped councils to set charges simply to raise general revenue is back-door taxation and leaves them open to legal challenge.'
Richard Kemp, vice chairman of the Local Government Association, told the Sunday Telegraph: 'Councils do not increase parking charges lightly. Each council is best placed to make its own decisions about what fees are appropriate for its local area.'