The amount of money spent on parking in York was falling even before the coronavirus pandemic, new figures show.
In the 2019/20 financial year, City of York Council made a net profit of £4.8m, down from £5.4m the previous year – a drop of 11 per cent.
The fall means less money available to reinvest in road improvements, bus services and community transport.
The council once again issued more parking tickets, but it had higher enforcement, administrating and operating costs, and also brought in less money in ResPark fees and parking payments.
The period covered by the report included only the first ten days of lockdown, but did cover the major flooding in the city centre in the earlier part of 2020. The council said the fall in income was down to the floods, the start of the pandemic, and increasing costs.
The figures are revealed in the council’s annual parking report.
Next year’s report, covering the majority of the lockdown and pandemic period, is likely to show a severe drop in revenue, with Government departments already warning of multi-million-pound falls.
Parking is a vital revenue stream for all councils, and the parking surplus is put back into other transport projects.
Of the £4.8m raised in York, just over £4m was earmarked for road projects; £637,000 for subsidised bus services; £98,000 for community transport and £13,000 for Shopmobility.
Last year, all income from parking came to £7.98m – down from £8.25m in 2018/19. The income sources were:
- Car parks: £5.86m (-3%)
- Coach Parks £69,000 (+4.5%)
- On-street parking: £390,000 (-17%)
- ResPark: £945,000 (-2%)
- Penalty charges: £713,000 (+1%)
The operating, enforcement and administration costs came to £3.2m, up from £2.85m.
James Gilchrist, assistant director of transport, highways and environment, said: “Parking revenue is a key income for the council allowing us to provide many essential services for the people of York.
“Over the past year we have seen both the flooding event during winter and the coronavirus pandemic significantly affect the use of car parks.
“We have also seen costs increase over the last year due to an increase in parking enforcement and the fact that the previous year was offset by a £100,000 business rates refund.”