Cost of parking in Blackpool set to reflect demand

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Parking charges in Blackpool are to be frozen this year – but the council will pursue the use of ‘dynamic’ parking fees which would change to reflect demand.

The move means the regular cost of parking on-street or in a council car park will not go up in the next financial year starting in April.

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Parking in Blackpool could cost more at busiest times

Last year, parking charges were hiked up for the first time in five years, but a report setting out this year’s decision to freeze charges warns increases can be outweighed by a drop in usage.

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Parking fees are to be frozen this yearParking fees are to be frozen this year
Parking fees are to be frozen this year

However the report adds consideration is being given to introducing dynamic pricing in a small number of car parks in prominent locations used mainly by visitors.

It says: “At certain times during peak season (including large-scale event days when there is high demand), some tariffs would be increased, while out of season these would be reduced to stimulate additional visits.”

Changes could be introduced ahead of the summer season if the council decides to go ahead.

Sue Grindrod, managing director of Blackpool BIDs Ltd (Business Improvement District), welcomed the proposals set out in the report.

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She said: “If as the proposals suggest, some tariffs will be increased, whilst out of season these would be reduced to stimulate additional visits.

“Blackpool BID very much welcomes the reduction of car parking charges at off peak periods to encourage more residents and tourists into the town centre.

“We know this works during the Christmas period, where in 2022 we saw an uplift in footfall in town centre by 18.79 per cent over December 2021 and on the Promenade by 30.02 per cent over December 2021.

“Freezing the car park charges in 2023/24 is a positive message to the business and tourism communities who face many challenges to overcome the cost-of-living crisis.

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“It is critical to the local economy we continue to see footfall, as a minimum, remain at the same level as in previous years and develop incentives for more people to visit Blackpool.

“Dynamic parking is a forward-thinking initiative by Blackpool Council to support the local economy.

“We will keep an eye on the impact this approach has on our levy payers and continue to work with Blackpool Council to protect the interests of the business and tourism communities the BID represents.”