TOWN halls are raking in so much from parking charges that the fees now equal up to 75 per cent of council tax takings.
The record £1.76billion made by local authorities in England last year has fuelled concerns that motorists and shoppers are being used as cash cows.
Motoring groups also pointed out the irony that council budgets are so heavily reliant on punishing drivers when many town halls tell residents to walk or cycle more.
It comes as The Sun backs calls by MPS and The Northern Research Group, to introduce measures such as free parking to encourage shoppers to back local businesses.
They are also backing “shop local” discount cards and free-to-use cash machines.
Since the pandemic began high street shops have seen a huge drop in sales, and are having to fend off online competition on a daily basis.
On-street permits, parking meters and penalty notices, were among the charges that brought in £1.76billion for the 338 English local authorities over the last financial year.