|H&F Council Earns Record £23.8 Million from Parking Charges|
Report says rise in annual 'profit' makes it country's fourth highest earner
Hammersmith and Fulham Council made a surplus of £23.8 million from day to day on and off street parking operations in the year 2014/15, according to a new report from the RAC Foundation.
This makes it the fourth highest earning local authority both in London and in the country, behind Westminster, Kensington and Chelsea and Camden.
The report shows there has been a steady rise in the surplus earned by H&F Council over the last few years, from £16.6 million in 2010/11.
The data, analysed for the RAC Foundation by transport consultant David Leibling, comes from the statutory annual returns that councils make to the Department for Communities and Local Government and shows that councils in England made a record surplus during the year of almost £700 million.
It says the figures are calculated by taking income from parking charges and penalty notices, then deducting running costs.
The rise in profits is accounted for by an increase in parking income rather than a reduction in running costs (which were in line with the previous financial year).
Before cost deduction, the report says H&F Council's total income from parking in 2014/15 was £36.4 million. This is a rise of 5% on the previous year's total of £34.7% and again is part of a steady upward trend since 2010/11 when the total income was £28.million.
Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation, said: "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.
"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.
"When a parking profit is made the law states that, essentially, the money can only be spent on transport and environment projects. We are simply asking that all councils publish annual reports to tell drivers exactly where this huge excess ends up."
We have asked H&F Council to comment on the RAC Foundation's report.
December 11, 2015