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Save the taxpayer’s money: Outsource parking enforcement

How much money does an average city spend on managing the on-street parking situation? I have no idea, but I do know that this money probably comes from the taxpayer’s wallet. Buckinghamshire County Council managed to save £250,000 of the taxpayer’s money in one year. How? By hiring a private company to manage on-street parking services.

In September 2011 the County Council contracted NSL to run their on-street parking services in Buckinghamshire. NSL slowly took over the whole County and they’ve been managing the on-street parking enforcement since. Under the NSL contract, fewer staff is employed to enforce the on-street parking spaces than before, when the council ran the services. You’d say that with fewer patrollers the quality would go down as well, but the number of issued parking tickets remained the same. Also, the County states that people are happy with the private company and pleased with their services.

Fewer employees and the same amount of penalty tickets means that the County has more money left: They’re almost breaking even on cost versus income. When they are actually making more money than they spend, the County plans on using this ‘extra’ money for traffic management projects that meet the resident’s requirements and requests.

Less costs, same income and happy customers. All accomplished just by outsourcing parking enforcement. Why doesn't every council do this? Why do most city councils prefer to run the parking enforcement themselves?

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