English councils parking income – budget 2018/1909 Jul 2018

Local authorities predict hike in parking surplus

Councils in England are predicting to make a joint surplus of almost £900 million from their parking operations in the current financial year.

The official figures supplied to government by the 354 local authorities (including Transport for London) forecast that they are on course to generate a combined ‘profit’ of £885 million in 2018-19.

This is a 13% rise on the £786 million they forecast for financial year just ended, 2017-18, the final outturn figures for which have yet to be calculated.

However, if previous years are anything to go by then the £885 million is likely to be a significant underestimate.

The actual surplus figure for parking operations for 2016-17 was £819 million, far ahead of the £747 million councils had themselves predicted.

The figures – supplied by the councils in standard format to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCL, formerly the Department for Communities and Local Government, DCLG) – show that only 50 of the 354 authorities expect to make a loss from parking.

The figures – analysed for the RAC Foundation by David Leibling – relate to both on- and off-street parking activities.

The council predicting the biggest profit is Westminster in London. It expects to make £78.7 million in 2018-19.

All but two of the ten councils predicting the largest surpluses are in the capital, the exception being Brighton and Hove at number 7 (£21 million) and Birmingham at number 10 (£12.3 million).

These surpluses do not take into account any capital charges – either for capital expenditure on new car parks or interest and depreciation on existing car parks – that local authorities might incur, as these are not included in the MHCLG tables. Also excluded is any allocation of corporate overheads.