NEW figures show that Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council (BDBC) made more than £1m from its parking operations last year.

However, the total total surplus of £1,234,000 in 2016/17, is down from £1,275,000 last year, according to figures obtained by the RAC Foundation.

This ranked the BDBC as 139th highest out of 353 authorities in the country which the foundation listed.

The figures are worked out by the amount of income received by councils from its parking facilities, such as fees and penalties, subtracted by the amount the council spends to run these operations.

BDBC says all surplus is put back in to improving its parking facilities.

Cabinet member for communities and community safety, councillor Simon Bound, said: “The council currently subsidises the free one hour parking in the town centre and its on street car parking services, which includes residential parking permits and parking enforcement.

“Any surpluses made from the council car parks are used to pay for parking improvements in the borough – both in town and residential areas, on public transport subsidies, transport improvements and general traffic management work.

“Most recently we have invested in improving our car parks, including the recent introduction of new parking machines which give visitors more flexible payment options when parking.”

Overall, councils made £819m in total surplus in the last financial year, 10 per cent higher than the £744m made in the previous year from parking operations, and 40 per cent higher than in 2012-2013.

The findings come from transport consultant David Leibling who looked at the official returns that councils make annually to the Department for Communities and Local Government.

Westminster had the largest surplus in England at £73.2m, up 31 per cent on the previous year.

Director of the RAC Foundation, Steve Gooding, 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.

“We welcome the fact that councils are increasingly investing in technology to help make parking easier and less stressful.”