The amount Mansfield District Council raised from its car parking activities was more than halved to £280,000 in 2012-13 from £595,000 the previous year, an RAC Foundation study has found.
Although the figure still represented a healthy ‘profit’, it bucked the national trend, where overall revenue was up 5 per cent to £594 million.
Even so, it was a much healthier picture than in neighbouring Ashfield, where the council lost £17,000 on parking services, with just 50 of 352 councils for which statistics were available faring worse.
Its 2012-13 figure was at least an improvement on the previous two years, with losses cut from £35,000 in 2011-12 and £52,000 in 2010-11.
“There are many potential reasons for the decrease in the figures,” said coun Kate Allsop, portfolio holder for economic regeneration at Mansfield District Council. “They include the reduction in overall income from the previous year and the loss of Station Road car park, which closed in January 2012 to provide space for the new bus station to be built.
“The income from off-street car parking goes towards balancing the council’s overall budget. The council’s finances are available for public scrutiny at any time.”
The RAC figures were calculated by adding up income from parking charges and penalty notices, then deducting running costs.
The biggest surplus was recorded by Westminster Council’s £39.7 million, while Surrey Council recorded the biggest loss of £1.047 million.
An Ashfield District Council spokesman said: “The council’s car park charging was reviewed in February 2012 with the intention that the charges paid by customers should cover the costs of running the car parks.
“The council is comfortable with a position where the car parks run close to break-even, as in 2012-13.
“It believes that there is a balance to be struck between covering the costs of a service, and good accessibility to town centres.”