Councils in England are currently on track for a combined profit of £885m in 2018/19 generated by parking operations, representing a 13% year-on-year increase.
The official figures from 354 local councils (including Transport for London) are related to both on- and off-street parking activities. They show a 13% rise on the 2017-18 financial year, for which final figures have yet to be calculated, which forecasted a £783m surplus.
The RAC Foundation suggests that the £885m profit predicted for 2018-19 is likely to be a significant underestimate. In 2016-16, the surplus figure for parking operations reached £819m, well ahead of council estimates of £747m.
Out of the 354 authorities, only 50 expect to make a loss from parking operations.
Westminster council in London predicts the largest profits, forecast at £78.7m during 2018-19, with all except two of the councils predicting the biggest surpluses also located in the capital. Exceptions were Brighton and Hove (ranking seventh with £21m) and Birmingham (10th with £12.3m).
Significantly, these figures do not take capital charges into account – regarding capital expenditure on new car parks or interest and depreciation on existing ones – or allocation of any corporate overheads.