Merton Council criticised over parking charge surplus

Merton residents have branded both the £10.2m surplus raised by parking charges in the last year and the new diesel levy policy as unfair.

The surplus jumped by a staggering 53% in 2016/17 from the previous year taking Merton to 15th out of the 353 local authorities in England, according to research by the charity the RAC Foundation.

Two residents told SWLondoner motorists were being exploited by the council while another complained that he still couldn’t find a space.

“I’ve just been hit by another £200 fine which there’s no way of appealing having come back from a business trip,” said one resident who didn’t want to be named.

“Unfortunately, you just get absolutely fleeced in this country for parking.”

The council has also implemented a levy on diesel cars which will eventually triple the amount their drivers have to pay for parking permits.

As of the 31st March, diesel car owners within a controlled parking zone are being charged the levy when they apply for their permit renewal.

Graham Hill, sales manager at Wimbledon Carriage Company, said the tax was pointless as many diesel cars are compliant with the Euro 6 emission standards anyway.

The measure would therefore have little benefit to the environment and yet he was still seeing people turn up to his garage who had been forced to turn in their cars.

“It’s a completely unfair, unfounded, profiteering tax and it should never have been put in place,” he said.


The parking charge surplus comes from subtracting running costs from parking charges (fees and permits) and penalty income.

Four of the top five surpluses were generated by London boroughs including Westminster, which made £73m off parking charges, topping the list.

The 33 London boroughs made £379m or 46% of the entire English total between them.

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