Labour, Conservative and some Green Party Councillors have voted through a parking tax time bomb at Tuesday’s council meeting.
Bristol's residents' parking scheme is now in surplus by almost half a million pounds. Promises were made by all parties when the schemes were brought in that residents parking would not be used as a cash cow or an extra tax on local people. This money must only be used either to administer the scheme or provide useful public transport improvements to help reduce the need to own a car.
But in a vote at Bristol City Council's budget meeting, Labour and Conservative councillors pushed through a change to start using this money to fund other kinds of projects setting a dangerous precedent.
In effect it now means that residents parking permits can be increased year on year as a stealth tax, in addition to council tax increases.
Given that the parking zones only cover certain parts of the city, this could mean your tax rate will be more dependent on whether you are inside or outside the zone, than on the size of your house or the services you use.
Lib Dem MP for Bristol West, Stephen Williams, said "Residents Parking Schemes were brought in with the good will of residents on the clear understanding that it would not be used as a cash cow or extra tax on the areas covered. For Labour and the Conservatives to go back on that and to absorb this money into the general council coffers will seriously undermine any remaining good will towards this scheme."
"The law is very clear that money from parking can only be used for public transport improvements and the scheme's administration. I would not be surprised if local residents decide to challenge this change in court. There is really no excuse for not using this money to improve local public transport and cutting the need to own a car. It is certainly badly needed there!" Stephen added.
Sign our petition below if you oppose this parking tax time bomb.
We the undersigned believe that money raised by the Bristol residents' parking schemes should be proportionate to the cost of administering the system and any profits should only be used to invest in alternatives to owning a car.