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Parking on our own driveway or just outside our own homes is something the majority of us will take for granted, particularly in purely residential areas. However, many across the country are finding themselves paying parking permit charges well into the high hundreds over the course a year simply for that privilege.
According to recent research these charges are rising too, with a 51% increase over the last 12 months. Local councils are increasingly feeling the pinch and these increases are no doubt to subsidise other spending, with an estimated £44m raised through parking permit charges last year alone.
Jon Wilshire, chief underwriting officer at Esure, said: “Some motorists are paying hundreds of pounds simply to park their car near their home. And to make things worse, even with a residential parking permit many drivers still find it difficult to find a parking space.
“Over the past two decades the number of vehicles on the road in Britain increased by 10 million but the space available for parking in residential areas has not increased.”
Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation, said many drivers see the charges as a “stealth tax on people who have no choice other than to pay”.
He added: “The law is crystal clear – on-street parking charges should be set to manage congestion, not to raise revenue.”
The LGA’s transport spokesman, Peter Box, said: “Councils are on the side of motorists but this survey highlights the difficulties they face in balancing the requirements of commuters and residents.
“Councils often introduce restrictions at residents’ request and consult widely on them, but in some places there simply is not enough road space or parking space to accommodate demand.”
Recently conducted research has found that the proportion of roads in the UK that are monitored by speed camera systems has increased dramatically over recent years, with over twice as many as at this point in 2013. During that 3 year period a total of 137.3 miles worth of UK roads have been brought into the areas covered by speed camera systems.
The research was carried out by a company called Road Safety Analysis after initially being commissioned by the RAC Foundation, and their Operations Director, Richard Owen, suggested that fitting cameras is actually a lot cheaper than it used to be.
He said: “It’s now typically around £100,000 per mile, compared with around £1.5m per mile in the early 2000s.”
“Some of the old fixed speed cameras have been around for 25 years and they are based on 35mm film. They are coming to the end of their life and are starting to be replaced, in some cases with average speed camera systems.”
Just last year there were a total of 50 new systems added, with another large portion accounted for by the average speed camera system which was installed on the A9 by Transport Scotland in October 2014.
Meanwhile, Steve Gooding, Director of the RAC Foundation, says that the company is looking into any correlation between the installation of average speed check systems and the number of accidents, despite the fact that the data published here did not include such systems. He said: “Unsurprisingly, the indications are that compliance with the speed limit through stretches of road managed by average speed cameras is high,” he said. “But the acid test is whether accident and casualty rates have also fallen. That is what the next part of this research project should tell us.”
How do you feel about the number of speed cameras on your local roads? Would you like to see more of them or do you feel that they’re largely ineffective?