Councils in England made a £700 million surplus from their parking activities in 2014/15 but AVDC’s profits have dropped 11% while Bucks County Council’s rose but were still in the red.
The record total ‘profit’ of £693 million across English councils comes from their day-to-day, on and off street parking operations, and is a 4% increase on the 2013/14 amount of £667 million.
AVDC’s surplus in 2013/14 was £686,000 but that dropped to £608,000 in 2014/15 leaving the authority around midtable in 186th position from 353 councils in the Local Authority Parking Operations Revenue Outturn for England rankings.
AVDC director Tracey Aldworth said the drop is largely down to essential repair work AVDC made to the Upper Hundreds car park in Aylesbury between October 2014 to January 2015.
She said: “These repairs were financed by the income received from parking charges and were scheduled as part of the planned maintenance programme we have for our car parks.”
Meanwhile, Bucks County Council made a loss of £347,000 from car parking but that was up 22% from -£424,000 last year making it the eighth worst of all 353 authorities in England (345th).
The figures are calculated by taking income from parking charges and penalty notices, then deducting running costs, and this year’s profits have come from increased income, rather than reduced costs.
Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation, said: “The financial sums involved in local authority parking are huge and the overall profits eye-watering. And once again the year-on-year direction of travel is upwards.
“It is unsurprising that London leads the way in making money. Its roads are most congested and the pressure on road space immense.
“The legal position is that parking charges are to be used as a tool for managing traffic. But with local government budgets under ever-greater pressure the temptation to see them as a fund-raiser must be intense.
“When a parking profit is made the law states that, essentially, the money can only be spent on transport and environment projects. We are simply asking that all councils publish annual reports to tell drivers exactly where this huge excess ends up.
“The precarious financial state of many councils is a genuine concern, not least when it comes to the risk of a cut in road maintenance spending which will hit every one of us. A funding solution requires national and local government to look beyond the High Street parking meter.”
London’s share of the surplus is £308 million (44%), with the only non-capital areas in the top 10 being Brighton & Hove and Nottingham
Relatively few councils few lost money on their parking activities. Just 57 (16%) of the 353 local authorities in England reported negative figures.
For more information or to see the figures in full visit the RAC Foundation website.
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