York council racked up a ‘profit’ of nearly £5.5m from parking charges in one year.
Figures from the RAC Foundation show that City of York Council received a surplus of £5.447m in 2017-18.
That figure is the income from both on- and off-street parking, less the expenditure of running the services.
York’s surplus puts it at number 41 out of 353 English local authorities in terms of the most profitable parking operation.
Money goes back into transport
In first position is Westminster Council in London, which made an enormous £57.6m parking surplus.
The most profitable Yorkshire council was Leeds, with a surplus of £8.4m.
Altogether 39 councils made a parking loss, with Buckinghamshire at the bottom of the table, losing £1.7m on its parking operations.
A City of York Council spokeswoman, said:
In York we have 13 off street car parks, six Park & Rides sites, on-street parking spaces and respark spaces.
All the surplus money raised through car parking goes to support other transport initiatives across the city, including highway maintenance, subsidised bus services, community transport schemes and shopmobility.
The combined surplus made by all 353 English local authorities was £867 million, up by 32% from £658 million in 2013-14.
Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation, said: “When totted up council parking income amounts to a multi-million-pound business.
“Our purpose in publishing this analysis is not to suggest the existence of any sharp practice, but to encourage motorists to seek out and read their own local authority’s annual parking report – and ask some pointed questions if their authority doesn’t publish one.
“We think it is important that motorists check for themselves whether their own council’s explanation of the level of charges, penalties and details of how the net income is then spent reflects, as it should, the use of parking controls purely as a tool to manage traffic.”