Councils make '£594m in profit' from parking charges

Councils are taking home record profits from parking charges, according to the RAC Foundation. Quoting government data, the motoring charity found a combined surplus of £594 million across England for on and off-street parking during 2012/13.

Councils 'required' to put parking money into roads

LGA
Peter Fleming said councils were required "by law" to put parking charge revenue into local transport projects. Credit: DaybreakITV

Councils do not make a profit out of car parking fees as every penny raised from motorists has to go back into "transport related things" like road maintenance and free bus passes, a local councillor told Daybreak.

Peter Fleming, who is also a spokesman for the Local Government Association, hit out at reports which said councils raked in almost £600m from parking charges over the last year.

"The RAC report calls is a profit. Well of course, councils do not make a profit. Councils use that money to provide services that we all use."

He continued: "What councils have to do, by law, is any money they raise by street parking...has to be spent on transport related things."

'No surprise' 4 London councils top parking profit chart

The AA has hit out at councils who use parking charges to bring in extra cash, calling it "no surprise" the four authorities making the most money are in London.

The care insurer's President Edmund King blamed CCTV for helping some councils "ramp up" parking charges.

It is no surprise that certain London boroughs are top of the parking profit league.

Use of CCTV enforcement has mass produced parking tickets and some councils still ramp up parking charges to the detriment of local trade.

The large majority of AA members in our polls say the cost of parking has big influence on where they visit.

– AA president Edmund King

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Parking charge data 'peddles the myth' of profit

Figures used by the RAC to show how much money is paid in parking charges "peddles the myth" councils use them to make a profit, according to the Local Government Association.

Peter Box, chairman of the Local Government Association's economy and transport board, said the money generated when back into parking services or was used to bring "our dilapidated road network up to scratch".

This report further peddles the myth that councils are using parking charges to raise money.

The reality is that the average motorist is paying 30 times more to Whitehall in charges and taxation each year than they do to their town hall through parking.

Councils are on the side of hard-pressed motorists by keeping a lid on parking charges.

Many already publish annual parking reports to be open and transparent with residents and combat the deep-rooted misconception that they are being used to raise money.

– Peter Box of the Local Government Association

Top 10 councils making the most from parking charges

According to the RAC, the 10 councils making the most profit from parking charges are:

  • 1. Westminster, £39.70 million
  • 2. Kensington & Chelsea, west London, £30.44 million
  • 3. Camden, north London, £23.,53 million
  • 4. Hammersmith & Fulham, west London, £19,39 million
  • 5. Brighton & Hove, £16.25 million
  • 6, Wandsworth, south London, £15.89 million
  • 7. Lambeth, south London, £12.00 million
  • 8, Nottingham City, £11,79 million
  • 9. Manchester, £8,78 million
  • 10. Islington, north London, £8.21 million

Read more: RAC: 'Record profits' from parking charges

RAC: 'Record profits' from parking charges

Councils raked in the cash last year thanks to parking charges, according the RAC Foundation.

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The four councils which took the most money were all in London, according to the foundation. Credit: PA

Local authorities across England generated a combined profit of £594 million from their on and off-street parking operations throughout 2012/13, the foundation said.

Quoting data from the department of communities and local government, the RAC said there was a 5% increase of the surplus of £565 million from the previous year.

Only 52 of the 353 councils in England reported a deficit in 2012/13.

RAC Foundation director Professor Stephen Glaister said: "There's no disputing the figures we have looked at. They are the numbers the councils themselves submit to central government.

He added: "What's more, council budgets show that the surplus for the current year is set to be higher."

Read more: AA: Parking penalties too tough