A COUNCIL made £26 million from parking activities in the past financial year.

Brighton and Hove City Council made the biggest amount outside the capital, a new study has found.

It discovered English councils made a record £930 million surplus. The figure for 2018/19 represents a seven per cent increase compared with the £867 million total during the previous 12 months, research commissioned by the RAC Foundation found.

The surplus in 2015/16 was £744 million. Local authorities received an income of £1.746 billion from their parking operations in 2018/19. This included £454 million from penalties, which is up six per cent year-on-year.

The amount councils spent on running their day-to-day parking operations was £816 million, not including interest payments or depreciation of assets such as car parks. Any money made from parking activities must be spent on local transport projects.

RAC Foundation director Steve Gooding said: “Penalties now seem to account for nearly half of all on-street parking income.

“What will surprise drivers is that even as parking income soars, the amount of money being spent on routine road maintenance by councils has been in reverse.”

The study was carried out by transport consultant David Leibling, who analysed Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government data.