Lambeth Council has been accused of using parking charges as a stealth tax after raking in extra millions in parking income last year.

The council doubled its income from CCTV cameras covering “moving traffic offences”, including the controversial Salter’s Hill junction ruled flawed by an independent traffic adjudicator, bringing in an additional £1m.

Some £1m of extra income in 2007/8 also came from a green scheme where the cost of residents’ parking permits was based on the emissions from their vehicles.

In total the council’s revenue for parking income in 2007/8 was £23,748,684m, an increase of almost £2m from the previous year.

Salter’s Hill resident Neil O’Flynn, who says his 80-year-old father is being chased by the council for a fine he picked up at the infamous Salter’s Hill junction, said he felt motorists were being fined for financial gain rather than making roads safer.

He said: “It’s clear its all about money - and its not fair on residents who all ready pay so much to drive. These CCTV cameras should be used to cut down on crime not catch out drivers unnecessarily.”

Opposition Lib Dem Councillor Julian Heather, who obtained the figures, said the council had used extra parking charges as a cash cow while pretending to offer a fairer parking system.

He said: “These extra charges are nothing more than a stealth tax.”

The emissions-based parking permit tariffs were criticised prior to their introduction in July 2007 as being a stealth tax repackaged as a green initiative.

The new figures show the year after their introduction, the council’s income from permits jumped by nearly 50 per cent to £3,765,000.

But the Labour-run council defended the revenue rise.

Lambeth’s deputy cabinet member for parking, Councillor Nigel Haselden, said: “If a resident’s car is in the lowest emission band, they will pay around £30 for their permit. If they have a gas guzzler they will pay more. We offer a clear choice to residents.

“The Lib Dems raised council taxes by a record 40 per cent while they were in charge and residents had absolutely no choice but to pay up.

“So I really don’t think that such a bunch of tax-hiking hypocrites should be criticising our scheme which encourages people to use greener cars.”

But Coun Heather said the Labour-run council had fleeced residents through a massive 50 per cent tax on parking permits.

“This was a one-way income street with no incentive for residents to turn to low polluting vehicles,” he added.