Councils in England made over £411m in parking charges last year – an increase of 14.9% on the previous year.
But research by the Institute of Advanced Motorists shows spending on road safety and highways improvements decreased dramatically during the same period.
In 2009/10 councils made £322 million from parking charges making the three-year increase 27%.
The top council earners in 2011/12, (with percentage increases based on the previous year) were:
- Westminster (£38m) up 8.7 per cent
- Kensington and Chelsea (£27.5m) up 31 per cent
- Camden (£25m) up 18 per cent
Outside of London the biggest earners were:
- Brighton and Hove (£13.7m) up 18.9 per cent
- Milton Keynes (£6.5m) up 9.3 per cent
- Newcastle upon Tyne (£6.2m) up 51 per cent
At the same time the amount spent by councils on road safety, education and safe routes to schools, decreased by 18 per cent, from £127.5m to £105m.
Overall revenue spending on highways and transport reduced by 6 per cent between 2010/11 and 2011/12, while capital expenditure (on construction, tarmac etc) reduced by an estimated 13%.
A Department for Communities and Local Government report from June 2012 estimates that capital expenditure on highways and transport will fall by a further 11% over 2012/133.
IAM chief executive Simon Best said: “Councils are making record-breaking profits from parking, while cutting road safety spending on life-saving services such as, education for young drivers, cycle training, and safe routes to schools schemes.
“At the same time cuts to road maintenance will mean a backlog of repairs which will simply cost more to fix in the long term.”