More than £1.3m profit was made on car parking in North Tyneside, new figures have revealed.
Research from the RAC Foundation showed that North Tyneside Council made £1.351m from parking revenue – both charges and fines – in 2014/15, placing it 121st nationally.
However, the figures show a drop from the previous year, where the local authority made just over £2m.
A spokesperson for North Tyneside Council said: “Our parking charges are about managing traffic and not revenue raising.
“Income from parking, including penalty charge notices and permits, is used to help cover the cost of enforcing parking and the maintenance and lighting of car parks.
“Surplus income generated from parking charges is used to help pay for improvements to the transport infrastructure, such as highways improvements and repairs, environmental improvements and public transport.”
The figures showed that nationwide, councils made a total profit of £693m.
Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation, said: “The financial sums involved in local authority parking are huge and the overall profits eye-watering.”
“The legal position is that parking charges are to be used as a tool for managing traffic. But with local government budgets under ever-greater pressure the temptation to see them as a fund-raiser must be intense.
“When a parking profit is made the law states that, essentially, the money can only be spent on transport and environment projects.
“We are simply asking that all councils publish annual reports to tell drivers exactly where this huge excess ends up.”