The Evening Standard last night printed figures (see Parking Account 2004-5.xls) from the Department of Transport giving financial performance of councils in respect of their parking accounts. They are not supposed to make a profit on these but their surpluses are available for use in road and safety improvement schemes. Ealing was ranked a rather pathetic 29 out of 33 in the 2004/5 financial year. Apparently they took Â£15.1 million and left a surplus of Â£886,000. You might think that it is not good to make surpluses but think on.
Â£15.1 million is the equivalent of 377,500 Â£40 tickets. In other words 377,500 of our residents and visitors have had that moment of teeth grinding fury when you realise that the parking attendants have got you. They cannot console themselves that at least all the road safety schemes we need in the Borough are well funded because Parking Services have spent it all on their workforce and can only come up with a surplus of Â£866,000.
In business language Ealing’s margin is only 6%. 24 councils manage a margin of 20% or more with Kensington & Chelsea ranked first with a margin of 61%.