Car parking charges have generated 32% more surplus for councils in England over the last four years, new figures have revealed.
The analysis, conducted for the RAC Foundation, found the combined surplus made by English councils in 2017-18 was £867m, compared to £658m in 2013-14.
The total income from parking activities was £1.66bn in 2017-18, while total expenditure was £793m.
‘When totted up council parking income amounts to a multi-million-pound business,’ said Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation.
‘Our purpose in publishing this analysis is not to suggest the existence of any sharp practice, but to encourage motorists to seek out and read their own local authority’s annual parking report – and ask some pointed questions if their authority doesn’t publish one.’
The research also shows that only 39 councils made a loss from their parking activities.
The Local Government Association disputed the RAC Foundation's description of the surplus as a 'profit'.
Transport spokesman Cllr Martin Tett said: 'Any income raised through on-street parking charges is spent on running parking services and any surplus is only spent on essential transport projects, such as tackling our national £9bn roads repair backlog and other local transport projects that benefit high streets and local economies.'
This story first appeared on localgov.co.uk.