THE surplus that Lancashire councils made from their parking activities has decreased over the past year.

Lancashire was one of just 15 per cent of councils to make a loss on their parking activities, with a loss of £334,000, compared to a loss of £269,000 the year before.

The figures from the RAC Foundation are calculated by adding up the income from parking charges and penalty notices and then deducting running costs.

The council ranked 343rd out of 353 local authorities in terms of revenue generated from parking activities.

Blackburn Council did make a profit of £80,000, but this was down from £203,000 the year before, and the council now ranks in 286th place. Burnley Council also saw its profits drop from £321,000 to £286,000, which meant the council came in just above Blackburn, in 238th place nationally.

Overall, Lancashire bucked the national trend, which saw a five per cent increase in ‘profit’ made from day-to-day, on and off-street parking operations.

In 2012/2013, the total made by local authorities across the whole UK was £594 million, up from £565 million in 2011/2012.

Councils said there were a number of reasons behind the reduction in revenue. Paul Riley, Lancashire County Council’s parking services manager, said: “Our priority is to ensure people park sensibly to help make the county’s roads safer and to keep Lancashire moving.

“We have been working on making our services more efficient. Greater awareness of parking enforcement means that people are now taking more care over how they park.”

A Burnley Council spokesman said: “The reduction in revenue is down to a number of factors and reflects the current national economic situation.

“We monitor car parking income and revenue very closely.”

Blackburn Council said it believed the main reasons for the decrease was the closure of the market rooftop car park and the free parking initiative on council-owned car parks.

It added any revenue raised from parking fees was automatically reinvested into public transport and road safety.