Councils have raked in almost half a billion pounds from on-street parking fines, the RAC has found as experts warned authorities were viewing drivers as “wallets on wheels”.
Latest Government figures show that English councils made £454 million from on-street penalties in the last financial year, up six percent on 2017-18.
Parking charges, permits and fines combined made councils a record profit of more than £930 million last year and the RAC Foundation has predicted that that figure will cross a billion this year.
The RAC also revealed the councils making the most profit from their parking schemes, with London councils leading the way.
Westminster Council’s parking schemes were by far the most lucrative last year, with the authority earning just under £70 million profit, followed by Kensington and Chelsea on £37,341,000 and Wandsworth, £26,348,000.
Outside London, Brighton and Hove Council made the most from drivers, earning £26,012,000, – making it the fifth most profitable authority overall.
Edmund King OBE, AA President, warned: “Councils do this at their peril as motorists will vote with their wheels and go to out of town shopping centres and buy stuff online instead.
“The high street is already under attack so excessive parking fines are shooting themselves in the foot and this appears to be more about making money than actually regulating traffic and parking.
“They shouldn’t view drivers as a wallet on wheels.”
Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation, added: “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.”
The latest figures come from the latest data from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government on local councils’ income and expenditure on parking schemes. The RAC report found that the amount generated from parking fines has risen by more than a third, 33.5 percent, in the last five years, when councils made £340 million.
Credits: News, Telegraph. Photo: Telegraph