Welsh council parking profits up for five consecutive years
Local authorities in Wales made a combined surplus of £14.4
million on their parking activities in the last financial year, according to an
analysis for the RAC Foundation by David Leibling.
The figure for 2017/18 was 3% higher than the £14 million
made in 2016/17. What’s more, the rise was the fifth consecutive annual
Between them, the 22 councils in Wales had parking income of
£38.5 million in 2017/18, 3% higher than in the previous year. The income
includes on- and off-street parking charges and penalty charges.
Total expenditure on running parking activities was £24.1
million. Additionally, councils may incur interest payments or depreciation on
their capital assets such as car parks, though that is not accounted for in the
The difference between income and expenditure gives the
level of surplus (or ‘profit’).
The data comes from the official returns councils make in a
standardised format to the Welsh Government on an annual basis.
Looked at individually, 19 of the 22 councils showed
individual surpluses. The biggest ‘profit’ was made by Cardiff (£3.87 million),
followed by Swansea (£2.85 million) and then Gwynedd (£1.38 million).
Three councils reported losses on their parking activities:
Blaenau Gwent (£453,000), Flintshire (£108,000), and Torfaen (£78,000). They
were the same three which reported losses in the previous financial year.
Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation, said: “There
are 1.54 million cars in Wales, up 40% in just two decades. Over the same
period the number of vans has grown at an even greater rate - up 83% to
“No wonder then that in many parts of the country road space
is at a premium and is being charged for accordingly.
“Yet not all councils
will be wanting to increase parking fees as a way of reducing traffic. Some
will actively be seeking more visitors to boost local high streets clinging on
to economic viability and helping make travel to these locations affordable is
one way of doing it.”