Town Hall coffers have been boosted by a near record haul of parking fines – which almost doubled in the last year as Covid lockdowns lifted and motorists got back into their cars.

Figures from councils in England show they pulled in £445million last year in parking fines slapped on vehicles that had parked illegally in the road.

The haul – equivalent to £1.2million every day – has mainly been raked in by London councils and other major cities where parking is at a premium.

With tickets for illegal parking ranging from around £40 to £120 - depending on where the offence is committed and how quickly the fine is paid - it means more than 20,000 tickets are issued every day.

Jack Cousens, head of roads policy for the AA, said: 'Councils often tell drivers to use their cars less for the good of the environment, something the AA agrees with, but the reality is that many councils are so 'car-dependent' for the cash they receive from drivers that it would leave big holes in their budgets if it wasn't for fines income.

'Drivers clearly in the wrong should be penalised, however there is evidence of tickets being issued incorrectly but drivers pay up anyway for fear of rising fines.

'When councils ask the DVLA for the owner details, we want them to capture and retain the location and reason for the fine being issued, so that drivers can identify hotspots of activity while providing an opportunity to review high-fine car parks to ultimately reduce tickets being dispensed.'

Last week, the MoS revealed motorists face the double whammy of even bigger charges to pay for parking, with councils typically putting up costs by ten per cent.

Now our research has found the top ten councils for parking ticket income were all in the capital, with Lambeth raking in the largest total of £30.1million, according to the figures for the 2020-21 financial year, which have just been released.

Outside the capital the seaside resort of Brighton and Hove saw the biggest amount raised through parking fines, with many day-trippers leaving the resort with a ticket on their car.

Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool and Birmingham were all in the top ten of councils outside of the capital for the amount brought in from parking ticket fines.

The total amount made this way by councils in England last year was £445, which was close to double the £226million in the previous year when travel was severely restricted by Covid rules.

The year before that saw £360million raised through fines, although again this financial year was impacted slightly by the pandemic. The record parking ticket tally recorded by councils was in the 2018/19 financial year when £453million was raised.

A spokesperson for the Local Government Association, who represent councils in England and Wales, said: 'Income raised through on-street parking charges and parking fines is spent on running parking services.

'Any surplus is spent on essential transport projects, including fixing the £11 billion road repairs backlog, reducing congestion, tackling poor air quality and supporting local bus services.

'Motorists can avoid fines by ensuring they observe parking and traffic rules.'

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2023-03-19T01:59:00Z dg43tfdfdgfd