Councils in England made more than £411million from parking last year, according to Government data. This is an increase of £53 million on the year before.
But while parking profits soared by 14.9 per cent, the amount of money spent by councils on road safety, education and safe routes to school fell by 18 per cent, from £127.5m in 2011 to £105m last year.
According to the figures, councils in the London area collected the most amount of money. Westminster council raked in £38m (up 8.7 per cent on the previous year) and Kensington and Chelsea saw a 31 per cent increase on 2011, rising to £27.5m.
Outside of London the biggest money-makers were Brighton and Hove council - collecting £13.7m for the year. Newcastle upon Tyne's charges almost doubled to £6.2m between 2011 and 2012.
“Councils are making record-breaking profits from parking, while cutting road safety spending on life-saving services such as, education for young drivers, cycle training, and safe routes to schools schemes,” a spokesman from the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) said.
The Local Government Association (LGA) responded to the IAM's criticism. “Councils spend billions of pounds a year on transport services and are currently facing general budget cuts of up to 33 per cent and a £442 million reduction in their Highways Maintenance Budget,” a spokesman said.
“This means they have far less to spend on roads and transport initiatives. Surpluses from parking revenue help lessen the effect of these cuts as they must be spent on transport services,” he added.