Councils cashing in on parking as profits climb 15%

by Lovemoney Staff ReenaSewraz on 11 January 2013  |  Comments 10 comments

Find out which councils made the most from parking charges last year.

Councils cashing in on parking as profits climb 15%

Councils in England made over £411 million-worth of profit from parking charges last year, according to research carried out by the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM).

The profit made during 2011/12 represents a 14.9% increase on the £358 million yield brought in over 2010/11.

In total, 353 councils were looked at using data available from the Department for Communities and Local Government.

So which local authority made the most out of our parking misery last year?

Top 20 council cash cows

Here are the top 20 councils which made the most profit from parking charges last year:


Local authority

Parking profit 2011/12 (£)*





Kensington & Chelsea






Hammersmith & Fulham






Brighton & Hove UA









Milton Keynes UA



Newcastle upon Tyne






Tower Hamlets
























Bath & North East Somerset UA


*Figures calculated by IAM from Department for Communities and Local Government Revenue Outturn data 2011/12

As you can see the top council earners for 2011/12 are located in London, with Westminster residents suffering the most and forking out nearly £38 million in parking charges.

Outside of the Capital, Brighton & Hove proved to be the biggest earner, bringing in just over £13.5 million in profit for the council last year.

In Islington the council managed to boost profits by 107.7% compared to 2010/11. Newham (100.5%), Wandsworth (79.1%) and Haringey (63.1%) also managed to bolster their coffers by an extraordinary amount.

Regionally, London and the South East made the most in parking charges whereas the North East and East of England made the least.

Spending cuts

While income from parking charges was plentiful, spending on some key areas fell.

The IAM found that the amount spent on road safety, education and safe routes to schools had dropped by 18%.

All in all spending on highways and transport was reduced by 6% and it is expected to drop a further 11% over 2012/13 which could mean a back log of repairs according to IAM Chief Executive, Simon Best.

So even though councils are making record revenues in some areas it appears spending cuts are still the bottom line in Local Government.

How’s parking your end?

What are the parking charges like in your area? Let us know in the comment box below.

More on parking:

How to beat parking fines

Cut your car park costs

Hospital car park charges up by as much as 200%!

Traffic warden numbers rise almost 6%

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Comments (10)

  • audaciousangel
    Love rating 1
    audaciousangel said

    Penalty charge notices are an offer of contract, although they won't tell you that. You have three days to accept (although who would) or decline, or better yet deliver it to the council offices and say that you do not contract with them. If they try to enforce it, quote the Bill of Rights Act 1969, “That all grants and promises of fines and forfeitures of particular persons before conviction are illegal and void.” Council are acting illegally, and technically we could sue them for misrepresentation. I'll be taking my claim to Queens Bench, as it is a breach of my human rights in that they failed to disclose the true facts.

    Report on 11 January 2013  |  Love thisLove  1 love
  • Nikgee
    Love rating 25
    Nikgee said

    Beware the so called enforcement officers will tell lies to get their numbers up. Recently I was in a an area of Barnet where I had clearly on display a visitors permit, the idiot who looked at the car didn't look where the permit was supposed to be didn't take any pictures of the alleged offence, nor did I get given a ticket and yet it is down to me to prove my innocence. Since when does proving ones innocence been part of UK law.

    Yet it is down to me to pay for the appeal (postage and time) which was rejected by the council, I now have to go to the adjudicator (still pending).

    And all this is on the traffic enforcement officers say so, his word against mine.

    This is a con, and it is about time councils started to pay reparations to innocent victims of their over-zealousness. Perhaps the amount of the fine, that would stop a lot of the tickets being issued.

    Report on 11 January 2013  |  Love thisLove  1 love
  • Pitachok
    Love rating 21
    Pitachok said

    Councils aren't 'cashing in' on car park charges. Parking revenue offsets council tax to help pay for local services. Setting parking charges is a balance between ensuring people aren't put off using local amenities, generating revenue for the taxpayer and ensuring those people that use the parking facilities pay more for them than the general population. Car parks are, after all, an asset that belongs to the taxpayer.

    If you don't like the charges, you can always park in a private car park where none of the revenue goes towards your roads, schools or bin collections and keeping your council tax down.

    Report on 11 January 2013  |  Love thisLove  0 loves
  • mib
    Love rating 2
    mib said

    Just parked in Milton Keynes for 4 hours and only cost £1.20. The council here proberly make that amount of money because there are loads of car parking spaces.

    Report on 11 January 2013  |  Love thisLove  2 loves
  • fender
    Love rating 27
    fender said

    I agree with ( angel ) in that this is basically a racket where there is no contract unless the victim allows themselves to be sucked in. Its nothing better than a scam but because its run by these law unto themselves councils somehow they get away with.

    Add the parking ticket racket to other money making rackets " council tax " or, to give its correct definition "enforced extortion". Why is it enforced extortion? because if you have a roof over your head there is no escape, it is not even based on ability to pay, they send a bill ( not an invoice ) and from then on you are up against the wall, you either roll over & pay up or else. Very similar tactics to that of a loan shark because basically they both work on fear of the consequences if, you don't give in and pay.

    The gloss of where the money is spent they tell us, is on the community lol. But in reality little of the money actually benefits the people forced to pay up.

    First and foremost, the money collected by force is spent ensuring fat pensions for all, mega early retirement packages, regular fat golden hand shakes ( up to 500k a time as reported ) as CEO's & directors move between councils, add in the monthly lining the pockets of 6 figure per annum council warlords better known as CEO's and directors. Don't forget also filling the hand bags of the huge entourage of PA's secretary's etc etc the CEO brigade employee to ensure they need do little actual work. Following that are the army of 50k plus managers and so on, until you get the bottom of the line. Most councils employee double the amount of staff needed, but as its public money then who cares?

    What ever is left often is spend on team building days at luxury hotels 100's of thousands are spent this way. and other luxury fun time that have little to do with actually being spent for benefit of, the local community. There is no doubt if councils were run properly by people who are diligent & actually understand financial matters then cost of these white elephants could be reduced by 60%. But then while the rules are rigged to give them to upper hand then, why should they bother. The public are there to milked, and milk them dry is what they will do.

    Angel has a very good point and I would willingly stand a long side any one who has the balls to stand up to these Council bullies who, when money is handed over on demand, employ thugs to enforce money is handed over. See the many video's on U tube concerning the council tax & parking ticket racket, plus other issues concerning councils and the thugs they employ to ensure we pay up.

    Report on 11 January 2013  |  Love thisLove  1 love
  • Meanmachine2
    Love rating 39
    Meanmachine2 said

    You want to try Cornwall Council car parking charges. It is not so much paying for a parking place but more like taking out a Mortgage to buy it.

    As to private parking, three outdoor parking spaces in a car park in St Ives recently sold for £50,000 each. This was for just a patch of tarmac marked out with white lines.

    Report on 11 January 2013  |  Love thisLove  0 loves
  • CuNNaXXa
    Love rating 410
    CuNNaXXa said

    On the flip side of the coin, our car parks are the ones where you pay on the way out, so you only pay for the time you have used, rather than try to guestimate how long you will be staying. Also, if you are there for less than 20 minutes, there is no charge for parking. Up to two hours is £1, and over 2 hours is £2.

    Can't say fairer than that.

    I also have to question the right of the ticket issuer to ban ticket trading. This is where someone, who still has quite some time left on their ticket, gives it to another motorist to use the remaining time left. How can they stop the transfer of a ticket. If you have rented a patch of tarmac for four hours, and only use one hour, the act of stopping your from transferring your ticket to someone else means that someone else is renting your tarmac before your rental is up.

    Surely if you cannot transfer a ticket, you should be able to force the car park to keep your rented tarmac clear, and if they allow someone else to park on it, they should be in breach of their agreement to allow you access to your own little bit of tarmac.

    Again, this demonstrates that they want OUR money on THEIR terms. There is no agreement or barter. They name their price, and their terms, and we don't have a choice. It is ironic that these very car parks were built with OUR money in the first place.

    I should also say that retailers could take a more positive approach to parking. If they want our trade, then they should be bending over backwards to encourage us to spend in their shops. Wanting us to part with our money for their goods while also charging us for the privilege (car parking) is just not fair.

    Public transport? Oh yeah, who in their right mind is going to try and get their chilled and frozen shopping home on a bus? By the time you arrive home, your chilled is ambient temperature, and your ice cream has dripped all over the bus floor, making it a dangerous, and sticky, place to walk.

    Of course, I live in a rural community, so I don't have the hustle and bustle of a big city, but we have to remember that we are in a recession, and people spending money is the only way the retail industry will come out of recession. If you stick hurdles in the way, such as charging to shop, you will ensure that a percentage of those able to spend money, don't. This will have a knock on effect as stores close, laying off staff who, themselves, are part of the consumer chain.

    Bring back free, or less restrictive, parking, and encourage people to venture into the urban and city areas to spend their money. That couple of quid they save from putting in a meter could be the difference between staying afloat and going bust, for any number of retailers.

    (In fact, a small increase to commercial rates and a drop in parking charges would see, I believe, an increase in retail sales without any loss in revenue for the council. Getting rid of parking charges may help turn back the decline many inner city areas are facing, in that people would rather go 'out of town' to do their shopping.)

    Report on 12 January 2013  |  Love thisLove  1 love
  • Tanni
    Love rating 92
    Tanni said

    What's the difference between a council and dick Turpin?

    Dick Turpin wore a mask boom boom

    Report on 13 January 2013  |  Love thisLove  0 loves
  • mark66jarret
    Love rating 0
    mark66jarret said

    @CuNNaXXa I like the idea of free parking, the only problem being they don't want office workers etc, parking all day for free & not using the shopping facilities. If the price of parking was low but you could only park in one area for a limited time say 3 hours that would be the best of both worlds. Don't mind the £1 hour for the multi storey car parks but hate it if you just need to pop into town for an hour to get charged a few pounds for the on street parking.

    Also don't like the take a guess how long you will be in town, prefer if you were charged for how long you park at £1 hour at least you don't have to rush back to pick up the car or feel you have wasted money paying for 4 hours when you only take 2

    Report on 17 January 2013  |  Love thisLove  0 loves
  • CuNNaXXa
    Love rating 410
    CuNNaXXa said

    @ mark66jarret.

    Our local Tescos and the car park next to it both allow you to park for up to two hours without charge. This gives you more than enough time to do your shopping, while ensuring those who are parking for the entire day, such as employees, pay for their pitch.

    To me, this is common sense car parking. It encourages short stay parking for shopping, while deterring those who would occupy a pitch for the entire day without compensation.

    Also, I like car parks where you pay on the way out, rather on the way in, as this is a much more fair system.

    Report on 19 January 2013  |  Love thisLove  0 loves

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