Councils are failing to explain to motorists their right to challenge parking tickets, a watchdog has warned. Here we explain how you do.Read the full story ›
Research from the RAC Foundation found local authorities made a record amount from parking charges in 2014/15Read the full story ›
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."
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.
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.
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
Councils raked in the cash last year thanks to parking charges, according the RAC Foundation.
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."
Evidence claiming revenue raised from parking fines across the UK totals £30 million each month is "inaccurate" according to the vice-chairman of the Local Government Authority.
David Sparks told Daybreak any money raised from parking fines had to go directly back into "transport initiatives".
A car insurer behind an expose on the revenue brought in by parking fines has warned motorists to double check parking restrictions when visiting a new area.
Managing director of LV= car insurance, John O'Roarke, warned drivers "it is easy to get caught out" and to double check signs before parking.
Parking rules vary in each council area and it is easy to get caught out when you don't know the restrictions.
Getting a ticket can be very expensive and often take months to reverse.
Parking on a Sunday is becoming increasingly difficult and it's easy to get caught out if you don't know the local rules.
If in doubt, check the sign explaining the parking restrictions and if you are still unsure try to park somewhere else.
According to a Freedom of Information (FOI) request launched by car insurer LV=, local councils are issuing more parking tickets on average than they were in 2012:
- Council across the UK now dole out on average, 162 parking tickets per day compared with 154 last year.
- City of Westminster hands out the most parking tickets of any local council. They have issued on average 1,269 tickets daily.
- Birmingham City Council issued the most fixed penalties for parking outside of London, issuing 339 every day.
- Bristol City Council gave out 271 every day.
- More than 284,000 tickets were issued by parking wardens on Sundays between January and May this year - up 13% on the same period last year.