London parking prices: Councils are making a mint from parking charges

Lynsey Barber
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London councils make a big surplus from parking charges (Source: Getty)

Councils across the country are raking in £1.9m every single day from parking, with the London boroughs of Westminster, Kensington and Chelsea , Camden, Hammersmith and Fulham and Wandsworth pocketing more than anywhere else in the country.

The four locations in the capital made £148m between them - more than £400,000 every single day - from parking charges and penalty notices, accounting for a fifth of the £693m total generated by councils in England last year.

The councils of Haringey, Islington, Hackney, Brent, Tower Hamlets, Lambeth, Hounslow Newham and Merton, are also ranked in the top 20, according to analysis by the RAC Foundation, which found councils' surplus from parking increased by four per cent overall in the past year.

The charity said the rise came from increased income from parking rather than a reduction in running costs.

How much does your local council bring in from parking? Check out the list below.

 London's biggest parking surpluses

  1. Westminster  £46.4m

  2. Ken & Chelsea  £33

  3. Camden  £24.5

  4. Hamm & Fulham  £23.8

  5. Wandsworth  £20.4

  6. Haringey  £16.1

  7. Islington  £13.7

  8. Hackney  £10.8

  9. Brent  £10.5

  10. Tower Hamlets £10  

“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," said RAC Foundation director Steve Gooding.

“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."

By law councils are only allowed to reinvest the surplus made from parking into transport projects. However, the group is calling for councils to make details of where the money is spent public to motorists.

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