Councils make £756m profit on parking fees in a year

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Councils in Britain have earned an incredible £756million in profit from parking fees in just one year, it has been revealed.

This figure has increased by 34 per cent in five years, the RAC Foundation said, and is up by nine per cent on last year.

The excess cash raised by the 353 councils, however, is seen as a surplus rather than a profit as law dictates that money raised from on-street parking must go to transport projects.

But campaigners are accusing official of 'filling their coffers' and 'using motorists as cash cows'.

John O'Connell, chief executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, told the Daily Mail: "Councils are raking it in from parking costs and motorists have every right to feel like they are being used as cash cows.

"Funding our road system is important but there are already sky-high taxes on fuel and car ownership, so councils must be careful that they don't heap even more pressure on to hard-pressed taxpayers. What's also important is that local authorities do not see these charges as a way of plugging gaps in their finances, instead of taking important decisions on spending."

In total, Town hall officials collected £1.5 billion from parking fees in 2015-16. This was made up of £338m in fines, £483m from on-street permits, and £682m from off-street parking.

The highest earning body was Westminster City Council in London, which made £55.9 million. Kensington and Chelsea followed with £34.2 million and Camden took third position after making £25.2 million.

Outside of London, Brighton & Hove was the highest earner, making £20.1 million, followed by Nottingham at £13.6m and Milton Keynes at £10.8m. Under the £10m mark was Birmingham and Cornwall, raising £9.8m each, Manchester at £8.9m and Bristol at £7.7m.