Kirklees Council’s ‘profit’ from parking fees and fines has dropped.

New figures have revealed the council made £1.8m from parking in 2015/16.

But five years ago it made almost £3m.

The £1.2m slump comes as many large authorities enjoyed a huge boost in parking revenue over the same period.

Across the 353 local authorities in England, profit on car parking surged by more than a third compared to 2011/12 – a combined £756m.

The figures are calculated by taking income from parking charges and penalty notices and then deducting running costs.

By law, any profit generated by councils from on-street parking must be spent on transport-related activities.

Kirklees is one of only a handful of major councils whose income from parking charges and fines has dropped significantly compared to 2011/12.

Despite being the 11th largest council in terms of population, Kirklees ranks only 104th in the parking profits league table.

The dip in Kirklees’ income comes amid a long running row about the bus gates in Huddersfield town centre.

Trader members of the Huddersfield Town Centre Action Group say shoppers are staying away amid fear of being caught by the cameras.

The closure of many large shops in the town centre over the past five years, including BHS, Burton, Miss Selfidge and Currys, and the improved shopping in Leeds, have both played a part in the reduced popularity of Huddersfield town centre.

Kirklees has acknowledged that its car parks are getting quieter and this month has extended its Christmas free parking scheme to include Saturdays.

The council has also backed two major schemes that it hopes will bring customers back to Huddersfield – the extension of Kingsgate and the HD One plan at the John Smiths Stadium.

The Kingsgate Leisure proposal is set to bring a cinema back to the town centre for the first time since the late 1990s, along with more restaurants and shops.

The largest surpluses from parking were seen in London with the 33 London boroughs making £332 million between them – 44% of the English total.

Westminster had the largest surplus in England (£55.9 million) followed by Kensington & Chelsea (£34.2 million) and Camden (£25.2 million).

The biggest profits outside of London were reported by Brighton & Hove (£20.1 million) followed by Nottingham (£13.6 million) and Milton Keynes (£10.8 million).

Nottingham’s huge total was boosted by approximately £9 million from a Workplace Parking Levy – which is now in its fourth year.