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Parking draws '£594m surplus for English councils'

According to the RAC Foundation, councils in England are making record surpluses from parking charges and fines.

In the year 2012-13, local authorities in England made a "profit" of £594 million from illegal parking, according to the organisation, who calculated the figures by adding income from parking charges to penalty notices.

Seven of the 10 largest surpluses were in London, with the largest being £39.7 million in Westminster. The only areas outside of London to make the top 10 were Brighton and Hove, Nottingham and Manchester.

The foundation has said that the record revenue came at the same time as spending on roads fell. However, the Local Government Association have said that the councils were on the side of the motorists. Communities Secretary Eric Pickles has even confirmed that cameras currently used to catch people parking illegally could be banned as part of the plans, as could unnecessary yellow lines.

Professor Stephan Glaister, director of the foundation, said: "The government's recent decision to consult on changes to parking rules and regulations is timely and we have always argued that at the very least all councils should publish an annual parking report to explain how much money is collected from drivers and, just as importantly, where that cash is going."

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