Local authorities in Wales made a profit of nearly £14m on their parking activities in the last financial year.
According to the RAC Foundation, the 22 Welsh councils recorded a combined parking income of £35.8m in 2015-16—a rise of 5.6% on the previous financial year.
In 2014-15, the councils made a £12.1m profit, which means this year has seen a 14% increase in the profit to £14m.
There was also a slight increase (0.9%) in the total expenditure on running parking activities. Overall, this cost £22m this year.
The rise in profit—or surplus—is the third annual increase in a row and a 60% rise on the figure for 2012-13 (£8.6m).
The biggest ‘profit’ was made by Cardiff (£3.5m), followed by Swansea (£2.4m) and then Gwynedd (£1.4m).
Three councils reported losses on their parking activities: Flintshire (£423,000), Blaenau Gwent (£310,000) and Torfaen (£81,000).
The most ‘efficient’ council was Monmouthshire where the ratio of income (£1.42m) to expenditure (£490,000) was 2.9.
Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation, emphasised the importance of reinvesting the increased profit into transport.
‘It is important that the surplus is ploughed back into transport projects – there are plenty on Welsh motorists’ wish-lists, not least the ongoing campaign to tackle potholes,’ he said.
‘Some cash could also go towards providing and maintaining off-street car parks, so that they are seen by drivers as a safe and convenient alternative to finding space at the kerbside.
‘While we don’t want our towns and cities dominated by the car, we must remember how dependent many people still are on them.
‘In several areas of Wales – including Blaenau Gwent, Neath Port Talbot and Torfaen – more than 80% of those in employment rely on the car to get to work, some of the highest proportions in Britain.’