Local authorities in England are predicting that they will make £913m of profit from their parking activities this financial year, although the real figure might be nearer £1bn.
RAC Foundation analysis, carried out by transport consultant David Leibling, has revealed that councils have made 4% more in profit from parking in 2019-20 than they did in 2018-19 (£877m).
The automobile association also believes that councils have underestimated the amount of money they will make from on- and off-street parking activities over the past three years by between 9% and 10%.
Taking this into consideration, they argue that councils have probably earned around £1bn from parking this financial year.
‘It would be no surprise at all if English councils soon breached the one billion-pound mark for the amount they make annually from parking, which is quite a windfall from a service that is intended to be all about managing traffic,’ said Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation.
‘Not every authority makes big money, some even run at loss, but where authorities are making money drivers might reasonably hope that some finds its way specifically into tackling road repairs not just on transport more generally.’
The RAC’s analysis is based on the budget figures provided by 343 English councils to the Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government (MHCLG).
The final figures are calculated by taking all parking income – charges, residents’ permits, penalties – and then subtracting the day-to-day running costs of providing parking.
Of the 343 councils, 278 reported that they expected to make a profit whilst 65 predicted they would break even, incur a loss or their parking is managed by another authority.