Council parking income set to top £2bn


English Councils received nearly £2bn in income from on and off-street parking in 2022-23, but paid out nearly £1bn in running and enforcement costs.

Outturn data for the year published by the Department for Levelling up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) showed that councils in England had a total income including fines from on-street parking of £1,196m and £730m from off street parking, totalling £1,927m.

However, total expenditure was almost half of this figure, at £535m for on-street and £441m for off-street parking, totalling £977m, meaning that the overall surplus was just under £1bn.

The figures cover both highway authorities and councils that are not highway authorities, with many of the latter operating off-street parking and enforcing on-street parking on behalf of highway authorities.

The vast majority of the income from on-street parking (£831m) came from London boroughs, which had a surplus of £529m after expenditure of £302m. However, London boroughs had income from off-street parking of only £49m, meaning that they made just £7m surplus, after expenditure of £42m.

Faced with soaring debts and limits on the amount by which they can raise council tax, local authorities will this month increase parking charges again, by as much as 60%.

The Sunday Times reported that many cash-strapped councils are implementing above inflation parking charges this month, including a 60% hike in Kirklees, West Yorkshire, 30% rises in some car parks in East Grinstead, West Sussex, and 29% in Shrewsbury, Shropshire.

Shropshire Council, which plans to build a new road costing up to £200m, recently announced cuts of more than £50m for 2024/25, on top of a 4.99% rise in council tax.

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