If you read the parking blog from the bottom up, you would have read my earlier bon mots about cities not using parking revenue to ‘top up’ a budget shortfall. Well, the courts in the UK are doing something about it. Read about it here.
The stern faced gentleman in the article led a lawsuit against a local authority who was raising parking rates in order to cover a budget problem. The gist:
Residents in Barnet began legal action against the council in 2011 after it increased the cost of parking permits from £40 to £100 and vouchers for visitors from £1 to £4.
On Monday at the high court Mrs Justice Lang declared that the legislation under which Barnet had increased the charges, the 1984 Road Traffic Regulation Act “is not a fiscal measure and does not authorise the authority to use its powers to charge local residents for parking in order to raise surplus revenue for other transport purposes”.
The campaign was led by East Finchley resident and solicitor David Attfield. “The increase to £100 was steep enough, but what really enraged people and was the £4 flat charge for visitors. It meant it was more expensive for a friend to drop in on you at your home in outer London than to park outside Harrods,” he said.
Brits, being stiff upper lip and all that rot, probably weren’t picketing in the streets, but they got the attention of hizzonner and there you go. Maybe the East Finchley folks followed the banner “No taxation through parking charges.”
My guess is that local governments in the US might find themselves in a similar fix if they keep raising parking fees and can’t justify it as a purely parking charge.
OK OK — The article was written before mine and the lawsuit was two years old, but you get the drift…