English council parking profits surge once more16 Nov 2019

Surplus heads towards a billion pounds

In the last financial year English councils made a combined profit of £930 million from their parking activities.

The figure for 2018-19 is up 7% on the £867 million councils made in 2017-18.

It is up 41% on the £658 million made in 2013-14.

The 353 local authorities in England received total income of £1.746 billion from their on- and off-street parking operations in 2018-19. This included £454 million from penalties, 6% higher than the £428 million in the previous financial year.

The amount they spent on running parking – as reported to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government – was £816 million. This does not include interest payments or depreciation on their capital assets such as car parks as these figures are not accounted for in the official data.

The difference between the income and expenditure figures – £930 million – is the surplus (profit) from day to day operations.

 £million 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17 2017-18 2018-19 2019-20 budget Change 2018-19 on 2017-18
On-street Fees and permits 435 472 424 501 526 558 6%
Penalties 340 328 397 388 428 454 6%
Total income 775 800 821 889 954 1,012 6%
Expenditure 408 421 407 414 431 439 2%
Surplus 367 379 414 475 523 573 10%
 
Off-street Total income 640 645 670 693 706 734 4%
Expenditure 349 341 340 349 362 377 4%
Surplus 291 304 330 344 344 357 4%
 
All parking Total income 1,415 1,445 1,491 1,582 1,660 1,746 5%
Expenditure 757 762 747 763 793 816 3%
Surplus (profit) 658 683 744 819 867 930  913 7%

Note: some numbers might not sum because of rounding.

The numbers were assessed for the RAC Foundation by David Leibling.

Of the 353 councils who returned parking figures to central government only 41 reported a loss on their parking operations.

The analysis leaves out the £9.7 million generated in Nottingham from the workplace parking levy. It also excludes the six national parks.

As in previous years, the largest profits are being made by councils in London.

The table shows the top 25 councils in England ranked by level of surplus. Westminster heads the list with a surplus of £69.2 million, followed by Kensington & Chelsea (£37.3 million) and Wandsworth (£26.3 million).

  English council parking profits ranked by size of surplus

(in £,000s)

Council 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17 2017-18 2018-19 Ranking by

2018-19 surplus

Westminster 51,037 46,426 55,875 73,191 57,582 69,191 1
Kensington & Chelsea 33,512 32,997 34,237 32,174 34,467 37,341 2
Wandsworth 19,692 20,350 21,174 20,506 24,216 26,348 3
Hammersmith & Fulham 22,960 23,787 22,672 23,077 23,817 26,066 4
Brighton & Hove 18,090 18,642 20,075 21,213 23,420 26,012 5
Camden 24,869 24,468 25,228 26,751 19,599 25,977 6
Islington 10,381 13,732 15,532 19,111 20,514 23,182 7
Haringey 5,700 16,145 14,917 14,635 16,841 17,615 8
Lambeth 7,219 9,683 9,942 11,923 12,143 16,973 9
Hackney 8,219 10,758 12,920 14,505 15,613 15,536 10
Newham 7,202 7,327 7,692 8,886 18,977 14,290 11
City of London 5,569 5,881 5,264 6,549 14,383 13,886 12
Barnet 7,879 346 6,703 8,643 10,690 13,695 13
Birmingham 7,756 9,699 9,816 11,129 11,183 13,586 14
Hounslow 7,814 7,655 7,196 11,972 12,243 13,047 15
Ealing 4,709 6,444 4,468 -637 6,811 12,789 16
Merton 7,015 7,226 6,681 10,227 12,279 12,174 17
Milton Keynes 8,160 9,042 10,757 11,143 11,296 12,091 18
Tower Hamlets 8,318 10,038 9,479 9,504 10,591 11,711 19
Brent 8,310 10,506 7,954 10,534 11,870 10,996 20
Croydon 3,113 4,352 4,176 6,703 7,699 10,635 21
Bristol 7,495 6,053 7,696 9,537 9,503 10,430 22
Cornwall 8,019 8,693 9,813 9,742 9,744 9,722 23
Manchester 8,020 7,915 8,919 7,751 9,368 9,659 24
Waltham Forest 3,152 3,325 5,725 5,150 6,842 9,479 25

 

 

Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation, said:

“Every year the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government produces their tally of English councils’ income from, and expenditure on, parking.

“Because the official numbers exclude the cost of servicing parking-related capital investment funded from borrowing the resulting surplus of income over costs might be overstated for some councils.

“Penalties now seem to account for nearly half of all on-street parking income.

“What will surprise drivers is that even as parking income soars, the amount of money being spent on routine road maintenance by councils has been in reverse.”

ENDS

Contacts:

Philip Gomm – Head of External Communications – RAC Foundation

020 7747 3445 | 07711 776448 | philip.gomm@racfoundation.org

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. The Foundation publishes independent and authoritative research with which it promotes informed debate and advocates policy in the interest of the responsible motorist.

The RAC Foundation is a registered charity, number 1002705.

All the RAC Foundation’s work is available on its website: www.racfoundation.org

This is a link to the full list of councils in alphabetical order:

https://www.racfoundation.org/wp-content/uploads/English-council-parking-profits-2018-19-councils-A-Z.pdf

This is a link to the full list of councils ranked by level of surplus (profit):

https://www.racfoundation.org/wp-content/uploads/English-council-parking-profits-2018-19-councils-by-level-of-surplus.pdf