parking fines
UK drivers paid out £1.3bn in parking charges to city councils last year.

The startling sum of money has been discovered after an investigation by The Sun.

In the 2011-12 financial year, 10,000 tickets were estimated to have been dished out by councils to motorists, and £1.29bn was collected in parking fines, pay-and-display tickets and parking permits – up four per cent over the previous year.

The London borough of Westminster topped the list for the most money raked in with £79.9m. In fact, the top five list was occupied by London boroughs – sitting in second place was Kensington and Chelsea after hauling in £42.8m, followed by Camden (£38.4m), Hammersmith and Fulham (£31m) and Wandsworth with £27m.

Brighton and Hove was the next city outside of London with £23.6m, while the investigation even managed to name the road which was the worst for parking fines.

Southampton Row in central London was the scene for 19,335 tickets being issued filling Camden council's purse with £1.2m.

Communities minister, Brandon Lewis, told The Sun: "There is no excuse for town halls using parking fines and motorists as cash cows.

"There are plenty of other ways for councils to raise extra income."

An AA spokesperson added parking fines should be about "deterring, not profiteering".