There has long been a suspicion amongst motorists that local authorities are raking it in from parking charges and the truth is that many of them are. Even where huge ‘profits’ are absent the picture is almost uniformly one of surplus and not deficit, with only 57 (15%) of 371 local authorities in England reporting negative numbers.
The data is contained in annual returns councils make to the Department for Communities and Local Government, but given the mass of data government departments publish it is not always easily accessible. Openness does not equal transparency.
The RAC Foundation has tried to illuminate the figures and below are tables for those councils which have the biggest surpluses both in London and nationally. The complete list of all councils can be DOWNLOADED HERE. Together the councils in England make a surplus of a fraction over £500 million.
More details on councils’ parking operations can be found in the RAC Foundation recent report, Spaced Out by David Leibling and John Bates. See pages 66-68 in particular.