Government figures show Luton Borough Council made a net profit of more than £1.3million in parking charges last year.
More than £1million was from penalty charge notices.
Parking measures giving drivers a 10 minute grace have been given the green-light this week by Local Government and Communities Secretary Eric Pickles and Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin
Under the new laws to help local shops, drivers will get a 10 minute grace period when parked in a bay which prevents fines for being just a few minutes late back to the vehicle– be it in a paid or free parking space.
And the use of CCTV ‘spy cars’ has been banned in the majority of circumstances .
Other measures protecting drivers include new powers for parking adjudicators so they can hold councils to account to tackle parking problems such as poor signage at specific locations.
And a powerful new right enables residents and local firms to demand that their council reviews parking in their area, including the charges and use of yellow lines.
There will also be tougher rules against heavy-handed action by bailiffs and an end to fines at out-of-order parking meters when there is no alternative way to pay. Guidance will also reinforce that councils cannot use parking to make a profit.
Councils were also asked to volunteer to trial a new pilot that allows motorists challenging a parking ticket to benefit from a 25 per cent discount on the fine if they lose the appeal. Currently drivers are only offered a discount on early payment before challenging a ticket.