In an effort to compensate for budget cuts, councils are set to increase parking charges, some may hike up to of 150% of current charges, it transpires.
A recent survey showed that 80% councils have either hiked or in the process of hiking parking charges.
In Leamington fess are set to rise by 100% while the Warwickshire council will raise parking charges in Rugby by 150% to 50 pence from the current 20 pence for 30 minutes.
The council said that the hike is the fallout of the requirement of saving £60 million.
A spokesman for Lincoln council blamed the VAT increase saying it has necessitated the 120% hike to meet the need for growing expenses of essential services. He argued total fees collected may actually fall as motorists may put off parking.
Durham city council has hiked the fees by 66% and hopes that it will deter drivers from parking in already crowded streets.
“Thurrock council has had to find £10m savings in the current financial year and will have to make £10m savings in the next year too, said a spokesman from Thurrock city council, which has increased fess by a modest 16%.
In Surrey, the council is set to introduce a £1.40 an hour parking fee in the city’s 3,500 free parking spaces.
A total of 25 councils have either hiked or propose to do so soon.
“The proposed increases are part of this cross-council savings package”, said RARAC in a statement last night.
Richard Dodd – the spokesman of British Retail Consortium said: “If you make it more expensive to park in town centres, people will go elsewhere”.
Arguing the move can be counter-productive, he added: “That can contribute to killing off town centre retailers, which are so vital for providing local jobs”.