Parking charges set to rake in £1billion for UK councils

Parking charges across England could rake in motorists a record surplus of £1billion this year, it has been reported. After running costs have been taken into accord, local authorities are expected to make £913million in 019/20 according to a study by the RAC Foundation. It found that the estimate from the past three years was underestimated between nine and 10 per cent over the past three financial years. Some 278 of the 343 councils were expected to record a surplus, while 64 are preparing to break even or record a loss.

RAC Foundation director Steve Gooding said: “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.

“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.”

London featured a lot of the highest total budgeted surpluses across the country.

At the top of the list was Westminster (£72.1 million) by a large margin, followed by Kensington and Chelsea (£36.0 million), Camden (£28.3 million), Islington (£25.9 million) and Wandsworth (£25.9 million) in the top five.

A large number of other councils in London also made the list. Outside of the Capital the biggest recorded amount was Brighton and Hove (£24.0 million).

Martin Tett, the Local Government Association’s transport spokesman, said: “Councils are on the side of motorists and shoppers.

“They have to strike a balance when setting parking policy, both on-street and off-street, to make sure that there are spaces available for residents, high streets are kept vibrant and traffic is kept moving.

“Councils don’t make profit on parking charges. 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 £9 billion roads repair backlog and other transport projects that benefit high streets and local economies.”

The top 20 councils in the UK with largest budgeted surpluses parking operations in 2019/20

1. Westminster (£72.1 million)

2. Kensington and Chelsea (£36.0 million)

3. Camden (£28.3 million)

4. Islington (£25.9 million)

5. Wandsworth (£25.9 million)

6. Hammersmith and Fulham (£25.6 million)

7. Brighton and Hove (£24.0 million)

8. Newham (£16.0 million)

9. Lambeth (£16.0 million)

10. Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole (£13.7 million)

11. Haringey (£13.1 million)

12. Bristol (£12.5 million)

13. Birmingham (£12.4 million)

14. Merton (£12.3 million)

15. Ealing (£12.1 million)

16. Milton Keynes (£11.5 million)

17. Croydon (£11.5 million)

18. City of London (£11.4 million)

19. Waltham Forest (£10.5 million)

20. Hackney (£10.5 million)

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