PARKING profits have ballooned by £3.3m over the past five years as the city council rakes in more cash from motorists, new figures have revealed.
Last year the council made £5,070,000 profit from parking fees – the 40th highest sum of any local authority in England.
Figures by the RAC Foundation reveal Portsmouth’s profits have grown each year since 2012/13.
Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation, said this was ‘good news’ as it meant the cash would be ploughed back into roads.
He said: ‘The upward path in profits is in part a reflection of the record number of cars and volume of traffic.
‘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 welcome the fact that councils are increasingly investing in technology to help make parking easier and less stressful. Westminster, for example, has created an app which directs drivers to free parking bays, helping to end the motoring misery of prowling the streets looking for a space.’
During the same period, the figures show that Fareham Borough Council’s profits are down from £1.2m to £859,000 while Gosport Borough Council’s are up by £171,000 to £517,000.
Havant Borough Council has also recorded a growth in its profits, up from £499,000 to £579,000.
Chichester District Council is one of the top area, recording profits of £4,247,000 in the last year – ranking it 47th in the country.
Southampton City Council was just behind, at 48th, with £4,214,000 this year – a surge of £794,000 since 2012/13.
Nationally, English councils made a record £819m from their parking operations in the last financial year.
The figure for 2016-17 is 10 per cent higher than the £744m made in the previous financial year and 40 per cent higher than the £587m made in 2012-13.
The findings come from analysis for the RAC Foundation by transport consultant David Leibling of the official returns that councils make annually to the Department for Communities and Local Government.
In 2016-17, the 353 local authorities in England had a total income from on- and off-street parking activities of £1.582bn – up six per cent year-on-year.
This comprised both parking charges (fees and permits) and penalty income.
At the same time, the councils spent £763m on running their parking operations – up two per cent year-on-year.