Mansfield District Council made more than £200,000 from parking charges in just one year.
The local authority operates 17 car parks in and around Mansfield town centre, in addition to ones at Mansfield Woodhouse, Market Warsop and Forest Town.
A total of £210,000 profit was made from parking fees, permits and penalty income.
The findings come from analysis for the RAC Foundation by transport consultant David Leibling of the official returns that councils make annually to the Department for Communities and Local Government.
The calculation is made by taking the income from parking charges and penalty notices and deducting the running costs.
This is a huge increase from the year before, where the council made a loss of £146,000 - which the council says is due to “significant improvements” which inlcuded major repairs and created widened bays on Walkden Street car park, which was temporarily closed that year.
Legally, parking fines must be used to manage traffic and profits must be spent on transport and infrastructure projects.
Councillor Dave Saunders, portfolio holder for regeneration and growth at Mansfield District Council, said: “The council provides car parks in Mansfield to easily enable residents, businesses and visitors to benefit from the wide range of shops, services, entertainment venues and food and drink establishments on offer in the town centre. Analysis of Mansfield’s car parking fees show they are very reasonably priced compared with other towns of a similar size and with a similar retail provision.
“The figure for 2015/16 is low because of the significant improvements including wider bays and major repairs done on Walkden Street car park during its temporary closure that year. This makes it look like there was a large increase in income the following year 2016/17 when actually the figure is in line with previous years.
“Any income from car parking is used towards maintaining the council’s car parks and balancing the council’s overall budget. Any on-street parking enforcement income goes directly to Nottinghamshire County Council as the highways authority.”
In 2016-17, the 353 local authorities in England had a total income from on- and off-street parking activities of £1.582 billion – up 6 per cent year-on-year.
Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation, said:“The upward path in profits is in part a reflection of the record number of cars and volume of traffic.
“The silver lining for drivers is that these surpluses must almost exclusively be ploughed back into transport and as any motorist will tell you there is no shortage of work to be done.”