Broken down ticket machines damaged Blackpool's parking revenue

Tower Street car park
Tower Street car park
Share this article
Have your say

Income from council car parks in Blackpool is up this year - but town centre roadworks have dented revenue from on-street parking meters.

Some ticket machines have also broken down during the year meaning motorists could not pay.

Central car park

Central car park

Now the council is to replace outdated pay-and-display machines and also hopes to introduce a parking app enabling drivers to pay using their phones.

Figures just published show use of the council's car parks increased by 3.1 per cent in 2018/19 compared to the previous year. This is an increase of nearly 31,000 extra users taking the total to more than a million (1,028,485).

The resort's main tourist car park Central saw patronage up by 8.6 per cent to 338,952, an increase of nearly 27,000.

The biggest drop was at West Street multi-storey car park where use was down by a quarter on the previous year.

Total income from car parks is up by nearly eight per cent to £5.3m from £4.9m last year.

But income from on-street parking is down by nine per cent - a drop of just over £81,000 to £823,255 compared to last year's figure of £904,442.

A report to the council's tourism, economy and communities scrutiny committee says: "The town centre improvement works being undertaken at various locations have had a temporary negative impact on usage, particularly on-street, and on West Street multi-storey because of its proximity to the tramway works.

"This patronage should return to normal levels as streets are reopened following the completion of works."

However other car parks have shown a "strong income performance" and "virtually all of the car parks along the Central Corridor are showing healthy growth. These car parks are the ones most heavily used by visitors to the town."

As well as being affected by roadworks, the report says on-street parking has suffered due to ticket machines breaking down, particularly along the Promenade.

The report adds: "The council is carrying out a phased replacement of outmoded pay-and-display machines on both on-street and off-street parking areas.

"This is partly to ensure the council has a more robust system to avoid breakdowns, partly to give users a better experience. "

New machines will offer card and contactless payments while options to introduce a parking app are also being explored.

Blackpool has around 5,280 spaces in council-operated car parks and around 900 on-street pay-and-display parking bays, with the latter mainly in the town centre and along the Promenade.