Select Committee on Transport Minutes of Evidence

Supplementary memorandum submitted by Westminster City Council


  During the oral evidence session on 7 December 2005, the City Council's budget forecasting for its Parking Service was discussed.

  I can clarify that I stated in the session (detailed at question 78 of the transcript) that the City Council expects to be £13 million below our original budget forecasts for this financial year ending April 2006 (not £30 million as recorded in the uncorrected evidence), as a result of the decisions taken to create fairer policies for the motoring public. This figure has improved slightly recently and now stands at approximately £12.2 million (shown highlighted in the table below). This surplus is made up of income accrued from meters, penalty charge notices, clamps, removals, suspensions and permits less their associated costs of running the services.

  The City Council's forecasts and actual budgets for our on-street and off-street parking income, including that generated through Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs), are summarised in the following table.

2004-06 Budget
  2005-06 Budget

On-street income
£77.6m£65.4m (£12.2m)
On-street penalty charge income
£40.3m£31.7m (£8.6m)
On-street enforcement costs
On-street enforcement surplus
£15.8m£8.2m (£7.6m)
Off-street income
£20.8m£20.2m (£600k)
Off-street penalty charge Income
Off-street costs
£20.8m£20.2m (£0.6m)
Off-street surplus

  Our original forecast for the on-street parking income surplus, as a result of enforcement, in 2004-05 was £19.6 million. Owing to the policy decisions we took in that year, the impact of the introduction of the congestion charge, and other factors affecting traffic flows into Westminster, the actual enforcement surplus figure amounted to £13 million. A shortfall against the original forecast of £6.6 million.

  Turning to the current financial year, the original budget forecast for on-street enforcement income surplus stood at £15.8 million. Our latest forecast for this surplus stands at £8.2 million, which will mean a shortfall of some £7.6 million against the original budget. Once again, this figure reflects the further steps we have taken to provide a more customer-orientated parking service and additional falls in the amount of vehicular traffic in the City.

  Finally, as shown in the table, no income surplus is generated through enforcement with respect to the City Council's off-street parking service.


  Question 130 and 131 of the oral evidence transcript deal with Westminster City Council's kerbside suspensions policy for legitimate activities.

  I am afraid that the City Council does not have sufficient data to determine how often such suspensions involve incorrect ticketing by parking attendants. However, we are in the process of reviewing the cancellation codes used when overturning or annulling penalty charge notices, and City Council officers are exploring whether it may be possible to have a dedicated code for PCNs issued in legitimately suspended parking bays or areas of kerbside. Please note that if a suspension sign is not present then a PCN cannot be served for that parking in that area, hence a Parking Attendant would not know to do so.

  The City Council has experienced a steady increase in the demand for kerbside suspensions over recent years, and we are determined to provide an efficient and effective system for our residents and businesses in this respect. Since November 2005, therefore, we have been actively collating photographic evidence of kerbside suspensions as they are erected, with date and time stamps. This provides us with a full record of the how the suspensions are put in place and removed as well as their precise position on the street. This information is of great assistance when dealing with disputes. Additionally, since April 2005, our parking attendants have been instructed to capture the suspension sign as one of the images required for any PCN of this type, so we also have this photographic evidence, which again helps considerably with disputes.

30 January 2006

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