Milton Keynes Council made £14m from parking last year, now decides how to spend the profit

    Drivers contributed the princely sum of £14,336,000 to Milton Keynes Council’s coffers last year and now a cabinet councillor will be deciding how to spend the profit.

    After taking out £2.7million for things like the contractors’ management fee of £1.641 million, and squirreling away £1m for future uses, the council has just over £11.5 million to spend on other transport related items.

    Now, Cllr Martin Gowans, the cabinet member for planning and transport, is to be invited to approve spending that £11.5 million. This includes £330,000 to help pay for the new multi-storey car park near CMK train station.

    Steve Hayes, the council’s head of transport, says that the key factor in the surplus, which is larger than many authorities, is the fact that MK has more than 21,000 council-owned car park parking spaces.

    This compares with 4,900 in Northampton, 5,842 in Bedford and 2,361 spaces in Luton. Birmingham has 4,731 and Reading has 8,622, according to Mr Hayes’ report for  Cllr Martin Gowans, .

    “This key factor is the reason for the level of parking surplus here in Milton Keynes when compared to other authorities,” says Mr Hayes.

    But the council is not allowed by law to spend the money on anything it likes. The list of uses of the money includes £4.1 million on concessionary fares, and £3.8m on capital investment in the roads.

    Cllr Gowans will be asked, next Tuesday (June 25) to agree to allocating the surplus and placing £1.013m to be carried forward for future decisions.

    Mr Hayes adds that the report is “transparent in demonstrating to stakeholders what surplus parking income is used to fund and that this is compliant with the legislation.”

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