On the 22nd July Barnet council lost a Landmark case. They had increased the cost of Residents Parking Permits by 150% from £40 to £100 and the cost of visitor’s parking vouchers by 400% from £1 to £4.
They said that they needed to impose the charges as they needed more money for highway maintenance.
Basically this amounted to a tax on motorists so a group of residents les by David Attfield took the council to the High Court. Of course they had a very good case as the High court had already ruled many years ago in the case of Cran vs Camden that the act which allows councils to ompose controlled parking zones and charge for parking was not a revenue raising act. Mrs Justice Lang said that the council acted unlawfully when they hiked up the prices of permits and vouchers. She confirmed that 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.
She awarded costs against the council. Of course the council has said that it will appeal. The people in the council who make the decision to appeal have nothing to lose financially as it is the council tax payers who foot the bill.
Had the council won local authorities across the country could have hike charges simply to raise revenue.