Councils rake in parking profits

Local authorities have generated millions in income from charging motorists for parking. The figures are revealed just days after a judge declared one London council acted illegally in using parking charges to raise revenue.

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Eric Pickles: 'Parking is not a tax or cash cow'

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles has pledged to take action against high parking charges in towns and cities.

It comes as government figures show that councils in England expect the net income on parking services will increase to £635 million in 2013/14.

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles Credit: Press Association

Mr Pickles said: "This £635 million municipal parking profit shows why we need to review and rein in unfair town hall parking rules.

"The law is clear that parking is not a tax or cash cow for town hall officers", he added.

Read: Parking services income to increase to £635m in 2013/14

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Parking services income 'to rise £635m' in 2013/14

English councils expect net income on parking services to increase from £601m in 2012/13 to £635m in 2013/14, according to the Department for Communities and Local Government.

The projections include parking charges and fines. Credit: Press Association

These figures were published on Wednesday ahead of RAC figures that reveal councils across England generated a surplus of £565m from parking charges (off-street and on-street parking) in 2011-12.

RAC Foundation: Parking charges 'a nice little earner'

A civil enforcement officer issues a parking ticket in London.
RAC Foundation director Professor Stephen Glaister said parking charges 'are a nice little earner'. Credit: Anthony Devlin/PA Archive/Press Association Images

RAC Foundation director Professor Stephen Glaister said that for many councils parking charges "are a nice little earner - especially in London".

He continued, "Not all authorities make big sums ... But the bottom line is that hundreds of millions of pounds are being contributed annually to council coffers through parking charges."

His comments come as figures released by the RAC Foundation show councils in England had a total current account surplus of £565 million from their on-street and off-street parking operations.

Westminster tops council parking profits list

The councils in England with the largest surpluses - before costs - in 2011/12 were:

  • Westminster - £41.6 million
  • Kensington and Chelsea - £28.1 million
  • Camden (north London) - £25 million
  • Hammersmith and Fulham (west London) - £19.5 million
  • Wandsworth (south west London) - £16.1 million
  • Brighton and Hove - £14.4 million
  • Islington (north London) - £10.9 million
  • Cornwall - £7.9 million
  • Newham (east London) - £7.3 million
  • Hounslow (west London) - £7.3 million

Source: RAC Foundation study

Councils rake in huge surpluses from parking fees

Councils across England have generated a total surplus of £565 million from parking charges, according to figures from the RAC Foundation.

Councils in England earned £565 million from parking charges
Councils in England earned £565 million from parking charges Credit: PA

The figures have been released just days after a judge ruled that Barnet council in north London acted illegally by using parking charges to raise revenue.

The study shows money generated from parking activities was up by £54 million between 2011 and 2012.

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