HC Deb 31 July 1963 vol 682 cc427-8
35. Sir B. Janner

asked the Minister of Transport if he has studied the report prepared by the chief constable of Leicester regarding methods of controlling parking, a copy of which has been sent to him by the hon. Member for Leicester, North-West; and if he will make statement.

Mr. Marples

I was interested to read this report. I agree with the importance it attaches to the control of street parking in congested areas, and to the usefulness of traffic wardens and the fixed penalty system in making the control effective. Parking control without meters, as in Leicester and Blackpool, can work satisfactorily where local traffic conditions, the supply of parking space and the demand are suitable. Indeed, my recent pamphlet envisages its use in some places in the London Traffic Area. But I am satisfied that control with meters is necessary in the busiest areas of London and other large cities.

Sir B. Janner

But, as the law now stands, it is impossible to have fair and effective enforcement. Is the Minister aware that in his Report for 1962 the Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis stated that 70 per cent. of the meter cases called for inquiry; that 130,000 cases were investigated, and that the cost of building had to go up? Who pays for all this? Is that taken into account in respect of the meters themselves, or is this heavy administrative cost in addition to the other costs which are incurred, with the result that there is no profit at all from the meters, but a very big loss?

Mr. Marples

No, Sir. There is profit from the meters, and that profit from the meters must by law be applied by the local authority to the provision of off-street parking. The local authorities submit their accounts to me every four years, and those accounts have to be approved by me. I am quite satisfied that local authorities who have parking meters and revenue coming from them will, and must, apply that revenue to the provision of off-street parking.