Councils 'exploit' drivers - TPA

A 16% drop in the money raised by parking fines has not prevented the Taxpayers' Alliance (TPA) from claiming that councils use motorists as "cash cows".

Offering the explanation that the recession had made drivers more wary about breaking the law, the TPA, which campaigns to cut alleged money wasting in central and local government, claimed freedom of information requests showed some councils were still charging exorbitant rates.

Of those authorities that charged the most, six were rated "four star" by Whitehall - meaning they were free to spend the fines on council services of their choosing.

The most expensive authorities were all London boroughs, with Kensington and Westminster topping the list at an average income of £85.29 and £62.62 per daytime resident, respectively.

But the requests also revealed that the overall amount raised by fines had fallen from £379 million in 2007/8 to £322 million the following year, while the average income for English councils was £6.14 per daytime resident.

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