English councils made a record £819 million in profit from their parking operations in the last financial year.

Analysis for the RAC Foundation discovered that between April 2016 and April 2017, councils in England saw parking profits rocket, with the final figure representing a 10 percent increase on the £744 million councils made in 2015-16.

Furthermore, the total was £37 million more the amount the councils themselves had forecast.

The largest profits were found in London, where the 33 boroughs reported a combined profit of £379 million - 46 percent of the national total.

Other profitable areas included Brighton and Hove, which made a total of £21.2 million from parking, and Milton Keynes, where a profit of just over £11 million was recorded.

In total, councils across the country brought in £1.582 billion in parking fees and fines during 2016-17, but spent £763 million on running their parking operations.

However, although councils made a profit overall, 46 local authorities said their parking operations were running at a loss.

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Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation, said the figures showed just how much traffic was on British roads, but pointed out that the ‘profit’ should be pumped back into the road network.

‘The upward path in profits is, in part, a reflection of the record number of cars and volume of traffic,’ said Gooding. ‘The silver lining for drivers is that these surpluses must almost exclusively be ploughed back into transport and as any motorist will tell you, there is no shortage of work to be done.

‘We urge motorists to take the time to read their own local authority’s parking report so they can see both the rationale for charges in their area and how the surplus is being spent.’