English councils made a record income from parking charges in the last financial year — totalling £819 million.
The 2016-17 figures were revealed by motoring charity RAC Foundation, and showed a 10 per cent increase on the previous year’s £744 million. It was also £37 million more than councils had predicted.
Overall, paid parking and fines totalled £1.582 billion across the country. The amount spent by councils running parking operations came to £763 million — the result was a profit of £819 million across the board.
The biggest margins came from London boroughs, with Westminster City Council leading the way with a profit of £73.2million. This was also a 31 per cent increase compared with 2015-16’s £55.9 million.
Following in second was Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, which made £32.2 million profit and Camden Council in third with £26.8 million.
The biggest earners outside of London were Brighton and Hove City Council, with a £21.2 million profit.
Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation, said: “The upward path in profits is in part a reflection of the record number of cars and volume of traffic.
“The silver lining for drivers is that these surpluses must almost exclusively be ploughed back into transport and as any motorist will tell you there is no shortage of work to be done.
“We welcome the fact that councils are increasingly investing in technology to help make parking easier and less stressful. Westminster, for example, has created an app which directs drivers to free parking bays, helping to end the motoring misery of prowling the streets looking for a space.”