English council parking profits up ten percent 27 Nov 2017

Local authority surpluses rise more than forecast

English councils made a record £819 million from their parking operations in the last financial year.

The figure for 2016-17 is 10% higher than the £744 million made in the previous financial year.

It is 40% higher than the £587 million made in 2012-13.

And it is also £37 million above what councils themselves had forecast for 2016-17.

The findings come from analysis for the RAC Foundation by transport consultant David Leibling of the official returns that councils make annually to the Department for Communities and Local Government.

In 2016-17, the 353 local authorities in England had a total income from on- and off-street parking activities of £1.582 billion – up 6% year-on-year.

This comprised both parking charges (fees and permits) and penalty income.

At the same time, the councils spent £763 million on running their parking operations – up 2% year-on-year.

The difference between income and expenditure - £819 million - is the surplus or ‘profit’ available to be spent on transport locally.

Although most councils made a surplus on their parking activities, 46 (13%) reported negative numbers.

Once again the largest surpluses were seen in London with the 33 London boroughs making £379 million between them – 46% of the English total.

Westminster had the largest surplus in England at £73.2 million, up 31% on the previous year.

Kensington & Chelsea came second with £32.2 million (down 6%) and Camden with £26.8 million (up 6%).  

The biggest profits outside of London were reported by Brighton & Hove (£21.2 million), and Milton Keynes and Birmingham (£11.1 million each).

The table below shows the 20 councils in England which generated the largest on- and off-street parking surpluses in 2016-17.

Local authority

2012-13

2013-14

2014-15

2015-16

2016-17

Ranking by 2016-17 surplus

£,000s

(Except all English councils total which is in millions)

Westminster

39,705

51,037

46,426

55,875

73,191

1

Kensington & Chelsea

30,437

33,512

32,997

34,237

32,174

2

Camden

23,531

24,869

24,468

25,228

26,751

3

Hammersmith & Fulham

19,395

22,960

23,787

22,672

23,077

4

Brighton & Hove

16,254

18,090

18,642

20,075

21,213

5

Wandsworth

15,887

19,692

20,350

21,174

20,506

6

Islington

8,216

10,381

13,732

15,532

19,111

7

Haringey

5,213

5,700

16,145

14,917

14,635

8

Hackney

7,756

8,219

10,758

12,920

14,505

9

Hounslow

6,407

7,814

7,655

7,196

11,972

10

Lambeth

12,004

7,219

9,683

9,942

11,923

11

Milton Keynes

6,668

8,160

9,042

10,757

11,143

12

Birmingham

6,869

7,756

9,699

9,816

11,129

13

Brent

2,666

8,310

10,506

7,954

10,534

14

Merton

6,868

7,015

7,226

6,681

10,227

15

Cornwall

8,078

8,019

8,693

9,813

9,742

16

Bristol

4,222

7,495

6,053

7,696

9,537

17

Tower Hamlets

7,000

8,318

10,038

9,479

9,504

18

Newham

8,163

7,202

7,327

7,692

8,886

19

Barnet

813

7,879

346

6,703

8,643

20

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ALL ENGLISH COUNCILS

£587m

£658m

£683m

£744m

£819m

 

 

Note: In this year’s ranking Nottingham has fallen out of the top 20 (to number 36) because net income from the Workplace Parking Levy - £8.9 million in 2016-17 – has been excluded. 

The link to the full data table – with councils listed alphabetically and by level of surplus – is to be found in Notes to Editors.

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.

“We urge motorists to take the time to read their own local authority’s parking report so they can see both the rationale for charges in their area and how the surplus is being spent.”

ENDS

Contact:

Philip Gomm – Head of External Communications – RAC Foundation

philip.gomm@racfoundation.org | 020 7747 3445 | 07711 776448 | 020 7389 0601 (ISDN)

Notes to editors:

The RAC Foundation is a transport policy and research organisation that explores the economic, mobility, safety and environmental issues relating to roads and their users. Charity number 1002705.

The Foundation publishes independent and authoritative research with which it promotes informed debate and advocates policy in the interest of the responsible motorist. All the Foundation’s work is available at: www.racfoundation.org  

The full tables with local authorities listed alphabetically and by size of surplus are available here:

http://www.racfoundation.org/assets/rac_foundation/content/downloadables/Local_Authority_Parking_Operations_Revenue_Outturn_for_England_2016-17_listed_by_size_of_surplus_and_alphabetically.pdf

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