The RAC Foundation recently published a report that studied how English councils are profitting from municipial parking activities.
The report proclaims an overall generated surplus of around £565 from English local authorities, showing an increase of 9,46% to the previous years of 2010 - 2011.
The report, which was conducted by David Leibling, consequently ignited a media debate with several local authorities defending public accusations of having over-used or manipulated parking enforcements.
In Cumbria, the council defends the claims that the surplus is not to be regarded as a profit but, in contrast, as additional spendings on other public goods and services.
Another example can be seen in Shropshire where it is similarly argued how the financial benefits are being re-invested into public transportation.
Similarly, the BPA defends English cities of having acted in the interest of the greater good whereas "The report finds “no evidence of local authorities hiking their charges”"
Going even further, TheGuardian as another example denotes how parking fees are sometimes one of the only possibilities for local authorities to raise money when faced with a strong centralised government.
So to roughly sum it up, the big news of English authorities profitting too much from parking fines turned into a public debate whereas the more important question begs not to know how much was raised, but more importantly, what for was it redistributed in the end?