OXFORD COUNTY Council has overcome a long-standing legal challenge to its policy of investing surplus parking revenues in integrated transport schemes, it was revealed this week.
After a three year investigation by the district auditor for Oxfordshire, claims that the local authority was unlawfully raising parking charges to pay for projects unrelated to parking provision were quashed.
The case was brought after a complaint to the auditor from an opponent of the city's much vaunted integrated transport strategy. The complaint alleged that spending plans contravened section 55 of the 1984 Road Traffic Regulation Act. This states that parking charges should not be increased as a means of raising revenue for other projects.
Last week's court ruling is expected to set a precedent for local authorities' spending plans and has released £3M for more park & ride provision in Oxford and environmental improvements in the city centre.