Councils In England Make £600m Profit from Parking Fines and Tickets

UK Councils Make 600m in Parking Fines 24
Dec 13

London’s local authorities lead the top 10 with Westminster collecting £39.7million.

This morning you are in for a shock. Have you ever wondered that where does the money you pay in fines and parking tickets go?  Well it all goes to the councils as news out this morning shows councils in England have made a record combined parking profit of £594million through charges and fines. These figures were released by the RAC foundation and they show the surplus for 2012-13 has increased by five percent from the previous year. Predictably, London’s local authorities lead the top 10 with Westminster collecting £39.7million. Brighton £16.25m, Nottingham £11.79m and Manchester £8.77m were the only places on the high-earners list outside London.

Local authorities have submitted their budgets to the Department for Communities and Local Government and they show that surplus for the current financial year could top £600m. Some of you would remember that few weeks ago Communities Secretary Eric Pickles announced plans to target ‘aggressive’ and ‘over zealous’ parking policies and these high figures will certainly emphasize the need to take action.

Director of the RAC Foundation, Professor Stephen Glaister, said it was a case of ‘déjà vu’ with parking incomes up yet expenditure on roads and road safety down. He said: “The government’s recent decision to consult on changes to parking rules and regulations is timely and we have always argued that at the very least all councils should publish an annual parking report to explain how much money is collected from drivers and, just as importantly, where that cash is going.

“It might be that some of the extra ‘profit’ has arisen because councils’ costs for running parking services have been reduced but drivers need to know this. “There’s no disputing the figures we have looked at. They are the numbers the councils themselves submit to central government. What’s more, council budgets show that the surplus for the current year is set to be higher still.”

However, Peter Box, chairman of the Local Government Association’s economy and transport board, has another view as he defended the statistics and said the councils were on the side of motorists. “This report further peddles the myth that councils are using parking charges to raise money,” he said. “Councils do not make a profit from parking. All income from charges and fines is spent on running parking services and any surplus goes on essential transport projects such as bringing our dilapidated road network up to scratch and providing subsidised bus travel for children or elderly residents.”