Councils' parking profits soar

Rise in drivers details being sold to private parking firms
1 Aug, 2013 11:08am Chris Ebbs

Latest estimates could see parking income hit £634 million in the next year

Local councils across the England made £565 million in profit from parking charges in 2011-12, according to the RAC Foundation.

And that number looks likely to keep increasing as figures released from the Government showed that net income from parking charges was £601 million for 2012–13, and is predicted to hit £635 million in 2013-14.

Eight of the 10 councils with the biggest surpluses in 2011-12 came from London councils. And the top of this table was Westminster Council, which made a profit of £41.6 million.

Brighton and Hove and Cornwall councils filled the remaining two spots in the top 10, with profits of £14.4m and £7.9m respectively.

Only 52 of the 359 councils in England reported a deficit. The figures also revealed that incomes from Penalty Charge Notices hit £340m last year, up from £316.

Defending the high profits, Cllr Peter Box, Chairman of the Local Government Association’s Economy and Transport Board, said: “Parking revenue is spent on paying for parking services. Any money left over goes towards transport services such as filling potholes, concessionary travel, park and rides, street lights and road improvement projects.

However, following the latest estimates for 2013 -14, Community secretary Eric Pickles, said: “This £635 million municipal parking profit shows why we need to review and rein in unfair town hall parking rules. This government has scrapped the last administration’s Whitehall rules, which told councils to hike up parking charges and adopt aggressive parking enforcement.

“But councils aren’t listening, and local shops and hard-working families are suffering as a result. The law is clear that parking is not a tax or cash cow for town hall officers.”

So, what do you think to the latest parking profits for councils? Is your council charging to much for parking? And do you think the money they're making being spent well? Let us know what you think in the comments below.