North Devon and Torridge District Councils have earned millions of pounds over the past year in parking charges.

Figures by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government data show North Devon made £3.4million and Torridge £1.3million in 2017-18.

Over the year NDC spent £1.3million on running, policing and maintaining parking services, meaning that they made a profit of £2.1 million in 2017-18.

TDC spent £570,000, putting its profit at £709,000. Both councils’ total income from parking charges has remained broadly level since 2016-17.

NDC directly manages and enforces 49 car parks and Torridge 21.

Sean Kearney, planning and economy manager at TDC, said: “Increased ticket sales has led to a significant increase in our car park income in recent years as a direct result of more tourists and visitors coming to the area.

“The council has also invested in improvements to the car parks through resurfacing, and better security to make them more attractive and safer for people to use.

“Visitor numbers have been further boosted through investment in other infrastructure projects such as the council’s ambitious seafront regeneration in Westward Ho!.

“While North Devon already plays host to around six million visitors a year, who spend £2.1billion, the resort and surrounding areas are also attracting new investment in leisure and holiday facilities that will see these figures grow in the coming years.

“In combination this is a great result for businesses and the many jobs that rely on this important business sector.

Parking charges in Torridge have not increased for two years and members have just voted not to increase them next year.

Head of resources for NDC, Jon Triggs added: “North Devon Council’s car parking charges are not set for the purpose of raising revenue, but any income received goes towards running our car parks service and maintaining the car parks themselves.

“Any surplus that arises goes towards delivering our everyday services such as rubbish and recycling collections, providing parks and play areas and keeping our streets clean to name but a few.

“If we didn’t use the revenue in this way from our car parks and other council fees and charges, we would be faced with providing fewer services or raising council tax levels in order to achieve a balanced budget.”