Councils make more than £400million in parking charges
The latest figure is an increase of £53million, or 14.9 per cent, on the previous year’s total of £358million.
Local councils across England made £411million in parking charges in 2012, according to Government figures.
Councils in the London area took the biggest sums of money, according to the data. Westminster council generated the most cash, with £38m – that's up 8.7 per cent on the year before. Kensington and Chelsea raked in £27.5m over the year, an increase of 31 per cent.
The most profitable councils outside of London included Brighton and Hove, which made £13.7m from parking charges. One of the biggest year-on-year increases was in Newcastle upon Tyne, with a 51 per cent increase to £6.2m.
Despite the large increase in parking profits, the amount of money being spent on roads and safety dropped in 2012. Councils put just £105m towards road safety, education and safe routes to school, a fall of 18 per cent on the previous year's £127.5m.
A spokesman form the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) criticised the figures. “Councils are making record-breaking profits from parking, while cutting road safety spending on life-saving services such as education for young drivers, cycle training, and safe routes to schools schemes.”
However, the Local Government Association (LGA) said: “Councils spend billions of pounds a year on transport services and are currently facing general budget cuts of up to 33 per cent and a £442million reduction in their Highways Maintenance Budget.”
“This means they have far less to spend on roads and transport initiatives. Surpluses from parking revenue help lessen the effect of these cuts as they must be spent on transport services,” the spokesman added.