THE borough council is set to make a profit of £1 million in parking charges and penalties this year.

A new analysis has revealed that Test Valley Borough Council (TVBC) has made the sum after the running costs of parking activities have been taken into account.

The highest figures in the area are for Winchester and Southampton at £3.9million and £3.8 million respectively, putting them in 59th and 62nd place out of 353 councils in England.

Rules dictate that all the surplus cash goes into local transport projects.

Drivers in the borough are asked to pay £1 for up to one hour in short stay car parks and the same for long stay.

Councillor Nick Adams-King, planning and transport portfolio holder at TVBC claims the borough remains one of the cheapest in the local area and prices have remained the same since April 2016.

“All our parking prices are carefully considered and in line with similar neighbouring authorities. More than 200 spaces are free for four hours in Romsey and there are free on-street parking spaces across the borough. On top of this, parking after 4pm and overnight continues to be free, while there is no charge on Sundays or bank holidays,” he added.

The research was carried out by the RAC Foundation who estimate that English councils could have a surplus of more than £900 million.

A total of 278 councils said they expect a surplus with 65 saying they think they will break even or incur a loss.

The study was carried out by transport consultant David Leibling, who analysed budget figures provided by English councils to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.

Martin Tett, the Local Government Association’s transport spokesman, said: “Councils are on the side of motorists and shoppers. They have to strike a balance when setting parking policy, both on-street and off-street, to make sure that there are spaces available for residents, high streets are kept vibrant and traffic is kept moving.

“Councils don’t make profit on parking charges. Any income raised through on-street parking charges is spent on running parking services and any surplus is only spent on essential transport projects.”