Unlucky for some: MK is 13th in national list of parking charge surpluses

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Figures released by the RAC Foundation show Milton Keynes comes 13th out of 359 local councils when it comes to revenue generated through parking charges.

It puts Milton Keynes above major cities like Birmingham, Sheffield, Liverpool and Manchester.

The 359 councils across England had a total current account surplus of £565m from on and off-street parking schemes in 2011-12, according to the figures.

Eight of the biggest 10 surpluses came from London councils, with Westminster leading the way with a £41.6m profit.

In 2011-12, Milton Keynes Council generated £6.6m through parking charges, up from £6m in 2010-11 and £5.9m in 2009-10.

Council leader Andrew Geary says he isn’t surprised to see Milton Keynes so high on the list, but insists that is because of the design of the city.

“We have so many surface parking spaces in Milton Keynes – more than most places,” said Geary, who admits to receiving a parking fine outside the civic offices in CMK during his time as council leader.

“I’m not surprised to see us so high on the list. But parking here is still very cheap compared to most places and there are no plans to increase prices in the foreseeable future.”

Mr Geary says the money generated through parking charges is ring-fenced to be spent on maintaining the city’s roads and subsidising bus costs.

The RAC Foundation figures, produced by transport consultant David Leibling, are generated from the annual parking income and expenditure details councils are required to provide to the Department for Communities and Local Government.

They are based on three factors; on-street parking charges, off-street parking charges and parking penalties.

Running costs of parking operations are deducted from this total to produce the surplus or deficit figure.

Mr Geary added: “There is no such thing as a free parking space. Even if it is free to park in, it still costs money to operate.”