Local Government minister John Healey believes local councils should charge more for off-street parking, despite the average prices having jumped over the past three years.
Government figures show that the amount of money made by councils from parking charges hasjumped by 14 per cent in three years to reach 635million in 2006-07.
But in a speech to the Local Government Association, Healey said: 'Only one in five councils are using charging to the full potential. Not just to cover costs but to shape their area.'
Healey said that charging more would result in 'reducing congestion, improving levels of health and exercise, encouraging the use of local shops.'