PARKING patrols are set to be cut to plug a hole in the council’s books caused by more motorists parking legally.
Redditch Borough Council is set to lose more than £100,000 over the next three years as the amount the authority expected to make through parking fines has dropped as drivers increasingly obey the rules.
When Redditch Borough Council took control of enforcing parking restrictions from police in April 2009 it was on the basis the scheme would have to be self-funding. It was anticipated a profit would be made in four of the first five years it was operating, which would go to Worcestershire County Council as the highways authority.
But since 2010/11 parking income has dropped by 41 per cent from £162,459 to £95,780 in 2013/14.
As a result Wychavon District Council – which runs the service on behalf of Redditch Borough Council – has been asked to make ‘efficiencies’ within the way the service operates totalling £30,000 a year, which will still leave the borough council having to find £18,000 over the three years to fill the remaining shortfall.
Jayne Pickering, head of finance at the council, told a recent executive committee meeting they would ‘not have to use the staff as much’ suggesting the number of wardens patrolling the borough or even the frequency of patrols could be cut.
A council spokeswoman later confirmed patrols would be reduced but it did not mean motorists would be able to get away with parking illegally.
“This is good news because it means we can continue to make savings for the taxpayer. However patrols will still be taking place around the borough and enforcement notices will continue to be issued to those failing to comply with our policies.”
It comes at a time when county council chiefs are looking at introducing more parking restrictions around town centre streets as a way of encouraging workers and commuters to use official paid for car parks.