MILLIONS of pounds have been made in Portsmouth from parking charges and fines, The News can reveal.
The city council made a profit of £3.5m from the money it has collected from drivers in the past two years.
But an RAC report reveals the city has made less than neighbouring councils such as Southampton and Brighton – and isn’t one of the top 20 high-earning authorities outside London.
The profit is determined by adding up the total income from parking charges and penalty charge notices and deducting running costs.
Councillor Ken Ellcome, the city council’s Conservative cabinet member for traffic and transport, said: ‘You could argue it’s because we have a fair pricing structure.
‘The service is going to break even once we sort out resident parking.
‘We obviously have to be aware it’s difficult out there economically at the moment, and increasing the charges through parking would put pressure on people.
‘We want to be fair in what we do – but we also have to run the council within our budget.’
It comes after the full council agreed to slash £380,000 from its traffic department in next year’s budget – which may be made up for by charging people in a parking zone for their first permit, or putting up pay and display charges.
No decision has yet been made and residents will first be consulted.
The savings were originally going to be £400,000, but £20,000 extra is now being recouped from the council’s licensing department.
Between 2013 and 2014, the council spent £4.5m running its parking operation, making it the 26th most expensive outside London.
Birmingham was the highest with £10.5m.
Outside of London, Portsmouth collected the least amount of income from on-street fines, at £1.3m.
Brighton raked in £5.1m and the top was Manchester with £5.4m.
While Portsmouth collected £6.7m in parking charges, the most was clawed back from motorists by Brighton again £25.8m, while Southampton got £7m.
The biggest profit from parking was made in Westminster, at £51m, followed by Kensington and Chelsea at £33.5m and Camden at £24.9m.
Brighton was the authority which made the most outside of the capital at £18.1m.