This is how much Preston Council rakes in from car parking
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Preston City Council made hundreds of thousands of pounds in profit from parking last year.
That is according to analysis by the RAC Foundation which shows councils across the country are making hundreds of millions from parking activities.
The motoring research group said parking “is quite a money spinner” for some councils, but the Local Government Association says any surplus is spent on essential transport projects.
Preston City Council made £305,000 in profit from parking services in 2019-20, according to the research.
But that was down 27 per cent from £419,000 the previous year, and a 52 per cent decrease from £638,000 in 2015-16.
Across England, councils made a combined profit of £891m from parking activities in 2019-20 – down five per cent from £934m a year earlier.
They received an income of £1.7bn from their parking operations and spent £854m running them, the figures show, although interest payments or depreciation of assets such as car parks are not included.
The surplus for the latest year was up from £750m in 2015-16.
“Parking management is quite a money spinner for some local authorities, and nationally it is a big business,” said RAC Foundation director Steve Gooding.
“The surplus for 2019-20 is down a little on the year before which may in part reflect the impact of the first Covid lockdown which saw traffic levels plummet at the end of last March.
“The dip is likely to be much deeper for the current financial year given the range of restrictions over the past 12 months and the Government’s current plea that we should all stay at home if we can.
“Going forward there are likely to be many councils who are actually looking to cut parking charges as a way of encouraging more people to visit their high streets which are fighting for survival.”
The analysis is based on data from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.
It reveals the vast majority of the 338 councils who returned figures reported a surplus on their parking operations.
Many of the highest totals were seen in London, with Westminster having the largest (£69.61m) followed by Kensington and Chelsea (£38.84m) and Camden (£28.99m).
The highest takings outside the capital were reported by Brighton and Hove (£24.76m).
David Renard, transport spokesman for the Local Government Association, said councils have to ensure spaces are available for drivers to keep traffic moving and avoid dangerous obstructions in the roads.
“With an increase of 10m cars on the road in the last 20 years, this has become increasingly challenging for councils.
“Income raised through on-street parking charges and parking fines is spent on running parking services.
“Any surplus is spent on essential transport projects, including fixing potholes and tackling congestion, but it would take more than a decade and £10bn to tackle our current roads repair backlog.”