The top revenue earners among the boroughs were all in central London, with Westminster topping the unofficial table by making £37.1 million.
The figures, compiled by London Councils, were presented to the transport select committee which is holding an investigation into whether council parking revenues — and particularly fines — are excessive.
It comes as the High Court is due to rule whether Barnet, under councillor Brian Coleman, acted illegally when it ordered a hike in charges to enhance its highways budget.
The five highest earners after Westminster are Kensington & Chelsea (£27.1 million), Camden (£24.2 million), Hammersmith & City (£19.5 million) and Wandsworth (£16.9 million). But in its submission to MPs, London Councils, which represents 33 boroughs, said the arrangements for parking and traffic enforcement are “broadly right”.
It attacked “dogged campaigners” for looking unsuccessfully for the “smoking gun” that showed councils were seeking to profit from motorists’ misfortune.
Out of 28 boroughs, two — Camden and Westminster — make a profit of more than £5 million while 13 make a loss against charges such as patrols and administration. The councils with the lowest revenue from parking (fines and charges) are all outlying: Croydon, Enfield and Barnet which each earn £1.4 million, Hillingdon (£900,000), Bexley (£800,000) and Havering (£700,00). Sutton loses £100,000 a year.
London Councils said: “Despite frequent allegations to the con
trary, local councils do not run parking regulations or parking enforcement with the objective of raising revenue.
“The allegation has been formally considered on a number of occasions, including previously by the transport select committee, which found no evidence to support the allegation. Several dogged campaigners have also spent considerable time and energy looking for the ‘smoking gun’ of evidence to justify this allegation without success.”
A London Councils spokesperson said: “Most of the money a borough collects in parking penalties, from pay and display ticket machines and residents’ permits goes straight back in to running the parking service. Any surplus must, by law, be spent on transport projects.”
Source: evening standard