Wiltshire Council made more than £6 million through parking meters in 2023.

An FOI request by this newspaper has revealed people paid a total of £6,118,157.55 at Wiltshire parking meters between January 1 and December 31, 2023.

The data also shows that parking fines cost drivers £801,159.85 last year, after 23,400 parking tickets were distributed between January 1 and December 1, 2023.

This is considerably more than in 2022, when Wiltshire Council issued 18,915 parking charge notices (PCNs) and collected £637,910.

A previous FOI revealed the top ten worst streets for parking fines, with 323 PCNs issued on Marlborough High Street, more than on any other road in the county.

It was also revealed that the number of unpaid parking fines in Wiltshire between January 1 and December 1, 2023, was 2,691.

Councillor Caroline Thomas, the council's cabinet member for transport said, “Parking provision is expensive to provide and maintain, and there is always a balance to be struck over how much the user should pay, to ensure that the council tax payer receives best value. 

“Wiltshire Council owns and manages nearly one hundred car parks across the county.

"The money raised through parking charges covers the costs associated with providing these facilities and includes business rates, general maintenance, equipment upgrades, maintenance and the cost of recruiting and retaining civil enforcement officers.

"The demands on the service are also increasing; particularly requests from residents, schools, businesses and town and parish councils asking for extra parking enforcement and maintenance to be increased.

“Any surplus generated from parking charges is used to support other transport measures including essential local bus services.

"This is one of the main reasons why we have not had to make the significant cuts to services that other local authorities have had to make.

“Despite rising operational costs and increasing service demands, the council has not applied any inflationary increases to car parking charges this year.

"We also removed the convenience charge from the MiPermit app payment system at a cost of over £100,000 per year. 

"Last year we also introduced an additional hour free parking for its blue badge holders. 

"We are investing £380,000 this year to replace our old parking machines, with machines that will accept both cash and card payment. 

“Significant investment has been made in improvements to a number of car parks over the last few years, including a £7m investment in Sadlers Mead Car Park in Chippenham and over £100,000 investment in the Culver Street Car Park in Salisbury."