York council rakes in £7.6m in parking fees and fines – but is hit by higher costs

4 Jun 2018 @ 6.54 pm
| News, Politics, Transport

York transport bosses had to spend an extra £161,000 last year on its car parks due to an electricity mix-up, the new pound coins and a change of operator.

City of York Council has published its draft parking report for 2017/18. It shows income from all parking and fines came to £7.623m, an increase of £232,000 on the previous year.

But much of the extra income was cancelled out by increased costs.

A spokeswoman told YorkMix the council had to spend

  • £46K upgrading machines, including so they could accept the new £1 coins
  • an extra £40K on the cash collection contract
  • an extra £40K on CCTV
  • and £23K to settle an electricity bill.

That meant the total net income increased only from £4,797,000 to £4,845,000 year-on-year.

All of the proceeds from parking are reinvested into York’s roads and transport, with £4.1 million going on highway maintenance; £582K on buses; £101K for community transport and £13K going to Shopmobility.

Those increases explained

The pay and display machine at Marygate Car Park in York. Photograph: YorkMix
The council said the cash collections costs rose because the previous service provider, OCS Group, pulled out, and when the council re-tendered and took on Security Plus instead, it had to pay more.

It said the CCTV costs rose because they had been unrealistically low in 2016/17, when the manager costs were partly borne by another budget.

As to the power bill increases:

The main reason for the increase in electricity bills was that the outsourced toilet contractor (Healthmatic) had been paying these bills for a number of years that were actually the responsibility of the council.

This was repaid in 2017/18. These toilets were in Nunnery Lane, St George’s Field and Union Terrace Car Park.

Councils are legally obliged to publish its annual parking income and expenditure and to say how the surplus has been used, as well as to publish details about the number of parking spaces it controls.

York’s draft report for 2017/18 was added to the council website two weeks ago, unannounced.

It shows the council collected

  • £5.66m from car parks (up 3% in a year)
  • £53K from coach parks (up 32.5%)
  • £482K from on-street parking (up 3%)
  • £830K from resident parking (up 3%)
  • £596K in fines (down 0.7%).

The council runs 13 off-street car parks with 2,772 spaces in total, plus two coach parks (62 spaces); six Park&Ride sites (5,020 spaces) and 62 ResPark zones (5,280 spaces).