Bradford Council coined in nearly £1 million in parking charges last year, it has been revealed.
Almost half of the money made was generated from on and off-street city centre parking.
Bradford West was the next biggest earning location for parking income, totalling £143,000.
The figure for Bradford Council was released as part of a national chart of local authorities by the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM).
The figures showed that Bradford made £997,000 this financial year.
Last night, the Conservative group said, if it took power in the district back from Labour, people would be able to park on their city’s streets for free.
Councillor Glen Miller (Con, Worth Valley), leader of the Conservative group on Bradford Council, said: “On- street parking charges are just another way to make money from this district’s residents to off-set poor financial management. Parking charges don’t help the economy, they don’t encourage people to come into our centre or towns to shop. That’s why it would be part of our manifesto to make it free.”
But Council leader David Green (Lab) said it was only Bradford city centre where on-street charges apply.
He said: “In my experience those bays are almost always filled so there’s no evidence charges are keeping people away. Those charges are among the lowest in the country.”
According to the IAM, councils in England made more than £411 million in charges last year, up by 14.9 per cent with London boroughs like Westminster, Kensington and Camden topping the list. Outside of London the biggest earners were Brighton and Hove, Milton Keynes and Newcastle.
But the IAM claims the amount spent by councils on road safety, education and safe routes to schools, has decreased by 18 per cent from £127.5 million to £105 million.
IAM chief executive Simon Best said: “Councils are making record-breaking profits from parking, while cutting road safety spending on life-saving services such as education for young drivers, cycle training, and safe routes to schools schemes.”
Bradford Council’s Parking Services would not comment until it could establish how the IAM had formulated its figures.
However, Coun Green said what the IAM had not done was to analyse the Government cuts that councils had faced over the last three years. He said: “Any surplus we have had from parking charges has been used to balance the cuts that have been made to road safety or highways.”