English council parking profits break three quarters of a billion 09 Dec 2016

Local authority parking surplus hits new high

The surplus produced from council parking operations in England has reached a record high of just over three quarters of a billion pounds.

In the 2015-16 financial year the 353 local authorities in England generated a combined ‘profit’ of £756 million from their on- and off-street parking activities.

This is a 9% leap on the 2014-15 figure of £693 million, and 34% higher than in 2011-12.

Although not all individual councils made a large surplus on their parking activities just 49 (14%) reported negative numbers.

The figures are calculated by taking income from parking charges and penalty notices and then deducting running costs.

The overall rise in profits is a combination of increasing income (4% up on the previous financial year) and decreasing costs (2% down on the previous financial year).

The data – analysed for the RAC Foundation by transport consultant David Leibling – comes from the statutory annual returns that councils make to the Department for Communities and Local Government.

Once again the largest surpluses were seen in London with the 33 London boroughs making £332 million between them – 44% of the English total.

Westminster had the largest surplus in England (£55.9 million) followed by Kensington & Chelsea (£34.2 million) and Camden (£25.2 million).

The biggest profits outside of London were reported by Brighton & Hove (£20.1 million) followed by Nottingham (£13.6 million) and Milton Keynes (£10.8 million).

The figure for Nottingham is significantly influenced by income of approximately £9 million from the Workplace Parking Levy which is now in its fourth year.

This is a table of the 20 councils in England with the largest surpluses.

 

£ million

 

Local authority

2011-12

2012-13

2013-14

2014-15

2015-16

Ranking by 2015-16 surplus

 

Westminster

41.6

39.7

51.0

46.4

55.9

1

 

Kensington & Chelsea

28.1

30.4

33.5

33.0

34.2

2

 

Camden

25.0

23.5

24.9

24.5

25.2

3

 

Hammersmith & Fulham

19.5

19.4

23.0

23.8

22.7

4

 

Wandsworth

16.1

15.9

19.7

20.4

21.2

5

 

Brighton & Hove UA

14.4

16.3

18.1

18.6

20.1

6

 

Islington

10.9

8.2

10.4

13.7

15.5

7

 

Haringey

5.3

5.2

5.7

16.1

14.9

8

 

Nottingham UA

3.3

11.8

12.1

13.3

13.6

9

 

Hackney

5.9

7.8

8.2

10.8

12.9

10

 

Milton Keynes UA

6.6

6.7

8.2

9.0

10.8

11

 

Lambeth

5.8

12.0

7.2

9.7

9.9

12

 

Birmingham

5.5

6.9

7.8

9.7

9.8

13

 

Cornwall UA

7.9

8.1

8.0

8.7

9.8

14

 

Tower Hamlets

5.8

7.0

8.3

10.0

9.5

15

 

Manchester

6.3

8.8

8.0

7.9

8.9

16

 

Brent

2.7

2.7

8.3

10.5

8.0

17

 

Bristol UA

3.7

4.2

7.5

6.1

7.7

18

 

Newham

7.3

8.2

7.2

7.3

7.7

19

 

Richmond upon Thames

4.1

6.1

7.0

6.3

7.5

20

 

 

Links to the full data tables – with councils listed alphabetically and by level of surplus – are to be found in Notes to Editors.

Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation, said:

“These numbers might seem eye-wateringly large, but in part they reflect the growing competition for space in many of our towns and cities.

“In 1995 there were only 21.4 million cars on Britain’s roads, today there are 30.7 million. 

“Parking charges are one of the tools councils use to keep traffic moving whilst also allowing people reasonable and affordable access to high street shops and other facilities.

“The good news is that any profit generated by councils from on-street parking must by law be spent on transport-related activities, and as every motorist knows there's no shortage of work that needs doing.”

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_2015-16_listed_by_size_of_surplus_and_alphabetically.pdf

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