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English councils make half a billion pound “profit” from parking, claims RAC

By / 7 years ago / Latest News / No Comments

This figure is a £54 million increase on the £511 million surplus seen in 2010-11.

Even where huge “profits” are absent, the picture is still largely one of surplus rather than deficit, with just 52 (14%) of the 359 councils reporting negative numbers.

And even after capital charges are taken into account, the combined surplus in 2011-12 was still £412 million.

The data, studied for the RAC Foundation by David Leibling, comes from the annual returns that councils make to the Department for Communities and Local Government.

The authority with the biggest income is Westminster Council in London which made a surplus of £41.6 million in 2011-12. Only Brighton and Hove, and Cornwall councils break into a top ten dominated by London authorities.

Professor Stephen Glaister, director of the RAC Foundation, commented : ‘For many local authorities, parking charges are a nice little earner, especially in the Capital.

‘Not all authorities make big sums. Several run a current account deficit and indeed of those with surpluses many will see the money vanish when capital expenditure is taken into account.

‘But the bottom line is that hundreds of millions of pounds are being contributed annually to council coffers through parking charges and the drivers who are paying them have a reasonable expectation to see the cash spent on improving the roads.

‘In fact it is enshrined in law that profits gained from on street charges and penalties must be ploughed back into a very limited number of things including maintaining the roads.’

Current account surplus before capital charges (£ millions)

 

2011/12

2010/11

2009/10

Change 2011 on 2009

Westminster

41.6

 38.2

34.6

20%

Kensington & Chelsea

28.1

 21.1

21.8

29%

Camden

25.0

 21.1

10.5

139%

Hammersmith & Fulham

19.5

 16.6

14.1

39%

Wandsworth

16.1

 14.4

12.2

32%

Brighton & Hove

14.4

 12.7

11.7

23%

Islington

10.9

  5.6

5.0

118%

Cornwall

 7.9

  8.2

10.2

22%

Newham

 7.3

  3.9

1.8

306%

Hounslow

 7.3

  6.0

5.1

43%

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Katie Beck

Katie joined Fleet World in 2012 as an editorial intern, following the completion of an English and American Literature BA from the University of East Anglia. She accepted a full-time position as an editorial assistant at the end of the internship period, and was promoted to the role of features editor in 2014. She works across the magazine and website portfolio, and administrates the social media channels.