William Eichler 07 December 2015

Councils make 'record £693m profit' from parking activities

Councils make record £693m profit from parking activities image

English councils made a record £693m surplus from their parking activities last year, according to the RAC Foundation.

This figure represents the combined ‘profit’ generated from day to day parking activities - charges and penalty notices, for example - by councils in England over the 2014/15 period.

It is a 4% increase on the 2013/14 amount of £667m.

The data, analysed for the RAC Foundation by transport consultant David Leibling, also showed that 44% of the total surplus was raised by councils in London, and that only 57 of the 353 local authorities in England made a loss on parking.

The rise in profits, according to the findings, is accounted for by an increase in parking income rather than a reduction in running costs.

The five biggest earners were all London authorities, with Westminster (£46.4m) at the top. Brighton & Hove and Nottingham were the only two councils in the top ten who are not in the capital.

The RAC Foundation also projects the surplus figure for 2015/16 in England will be £687m.

Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation, said: ‘The legal position is that parking charges are to be used as a tool for managing traffic. But with local government budgets under ever-greater pressure the temptation to see them as a fund-raiser must be intense.

‘When a parking profit is made the law states that, essentially, the money can only be spent on transport and environment projects. We are simply asking that all councils publish annual reports to tell drivers exactly where this huge excess ends up.’

However, the Local Government Association (LGA) said the report was 'wholly inaccurate and misleading'. The LGA Environment Spokesperson said: 'The reality is income is spent on running parking services and any surplus is only spent on essential transport projects, such as tackling the £12bn roads repair backlog and creating new parking spaces.

'Councils are on the side of hard-pressed motorists. 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.'

The LATCo model image

The LATCo model

Mark Scott explains how local authorities can deliver profit with a purpose.
SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Electrician

North West Leicestershire District Council
You could earn up to £31,173 per annum
You will be joining a busy team that carries out all types of maintenance and improvements across a diverse range of occupied and vacant properties. Coalville, Leicestershire
Recuriter: North West Leicestershire District Council

Executive Director People

Bracknell Forest Borough Council
Up to £167,000
As a truly corporate player, you will bring a strong track record of service improvement and transformation as well as... Bracknell, Berkshire
Recuriter: Bracknell Forest Borough Council

Community Alarms Officer

Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council
£20,903 - £24,491 pro rata
We are looking for enthusiastic individuals who possess a good working knowledge of the community alarm service including assessing and installing... Sandwell, West Midlands
Recuriter: Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council

Qualified Social Workers within Adult Services

Essex County Council
£30906 - £42254 per annum
Essex County Council continues to review its ways of working during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. We continue to work within adult social care with a England, Essex, Colchester
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Occupational Therapists - Adult Services

Essex County Council
£30906 - £42254 per annum
Essex County Council continues to review its ways of working during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. We continue to work within adult social care with a England, Essex, Harlow
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how how flexible workspaces can lead the way in regeneration for local authorities, Why local authority intervention is key to successful urban regeneration schemes and if the Government’s challenge of embracing beauty is an opportunity for communities.

The March issue also takes a closer look at Blackburn with Darwen Council's first digital health hub to help people gain control over health and care services.

Register for your free digital issue