Parking insider spills beans

spilling the beans on parking

spilling the beans on parking

We read with interest a recently posted article by David Scoggins in the parking industry trade magazine Parking Review, outlining how local authorities can raise extra revenue from parking. We think it’s fair to describe Mr Scoggins as a parking industry insider, as although he describes himself as an independent parking consultant, he did once work as head of parking for Tower Hamlets, then later as Parking Services manager with Spelthorne Borough Council near Stains.

What interested us at Nutsville Towers was just how candid Mr Scoggins has been in his article, really spilling the beans on how the Councils view parking revenue. On the face of it, the article seems to want to serve two purposes, to show Councils how to avoid increasing parking charges, and secondly to flog Barbour Logics Response Master software system, which enables council office staff to reject parking appeals faster and with less training.

In Mr Scoggins opening paragraph he says “Ever since I started in parking in 1994 I have always considered that parking within a local authority should be run like a business.“, which is the first eye opener, as we joe public have been told it’s simply for better street management. Then Mr Scoggins makes it even clearer saying “The directors are senior management and councillors who expect a return on their investment. Any surplus – although I have always called it profit – has to be ploughed back into the business. “. Did he just say the ‘profit‘ word, yes he did. But Scoggins goes on to describe the pressures a parking department has, but really then knocks over the whole tin of parking beans saying “Lastly, we have management and, in particular, finance departments who see parking as a cash cow.“. Ahh so it’s Westminster City Councils finance department that wanted the stealth tax on PTW parking then.

Ok so Mr Scoggins isn’t saying anything the public don’t already know, but can you imagine Westminsters Danny Chalkley ever having the balls to be that honest?

Later Scoggins gets on to pay-by-phone parking and provides the real reason it’s becoming so popular with local authorities “One of the biggest costs incurred by parking departments is cash collection, so the less you take in cash the better. Mobile phone payments will save you money because they mean there is less cash to collect, count and bank from your meters or pay & display machines.

By now we were quite warming to Mr Scoggins up until he said this “You should also consider charging disabled drivers in off-street car parks. This may sound harsh, but free off-street parking is not a statutory requirement, and getting a blue badge does not involve being means tested. ” So sod the disabled, charge them all rich and poor. I wonder if Mr Scoggins would be happy to break the news to a returning war veteran with their leg blown off that they should be stealth taxed, just to make things easier for them to get around or perhaps for Council profits.

Then Mr Scoggins plummets even further in our view saying “Assess all the free on-street parking, most of which will be limited to waiting with no return within ‘X’ hours. Could you charge? If so, make it cheap for short-stay but expensive for long-stay, which will force drivers into your car parks.

Oh Mr Scoggins, thanks for being so open telling us how councils really view parking revenue, but decriminalised parking run by councils was never supposed to be like this.

When Mr Scoggins was working for Spelthorne Borough Council a member of the public asked through an FOI if the parking wardens had any rewards or bonus schemes. Mr Scroggins answered with “We do not offer rewards bonuses etc. It is illegal to do so.“, but isn’t it also illegal to run a parking department to make a profit (FOI source)

A comment often made by the public to stories of unfair parking practices is who will be next, cyclists, or will they charge pedestrians next.


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CMCerJanuary 29th, 2010 at 11:40 am

That’s the thing, no matter what they say in front of the camera or at public meetings, we know what they are saying behind the scenes. The BBC investigation proves that and now Scoggins has let the cat totally out of the bag. But at leats he’s honest, he’s calling it a profit, which is exactly what it is.

It’s always about the money, always was.

BanditJanuary 29th, 2010 at 12:38 pm

Scoggins doesn’t have to lie. His only interest is in promoting the means whereby his organisation can get rich by flogging their products & services to feckers like Chalky.
It’s the Councillors who chose to use them to mug us, the public, who have to lie and spin about the reasons for doing it.

Yeah, like we need our kerbside space managing in the run-up to the 2012 Olympics. Chalky was really scraping the bullshit barrel last week with that one!

We don’t believe them.
They KNOW that we don’t believe them.
We know that they know we don’t believe them.
But still they dream up more bollocks for every little money-grubbing scheme they – or bastards like Scoggins – can conceive.

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