Car park coffers boosted
Car parking revenue in Blackpool increased last year with the service almost hitting its Â£6m income target despite the closure of several car parks.
During the last financial year, income was up by 5.1 per cent compared to the previous year.
Overall occupany levels for all the 21 council-owned car parks has improved to 63 per cent, compared to 58 per cent for the previous two years.
The improvement has been put down to a review which has seen changes to some parking tariffs, while “better quality attractions and events” have drawn more visitors to the resort.
Coun Christine Wright, cabinet member for income generation which includes parking, said: “We have held a review of our parking services and as a result we have seen increased income. Part of this has been a modest increase in tariffs. People do complain at times of seeing car parks empty but they can’t be full all of the time and we have to have so many in order to cope with peak times.
“There are more people coming to the town now.
“The staff also work very hard and they are doing a brilliant job.”
The revenue figures for 2015/16 also included two Easter holidays which helped boost income.
In recent years the Houndshill car park has been sold, the tram depot has been built on Starr Gate car park, and car parks on Rigby Road, Sandsway and Blundell Street have been lost to create the Foxhall Village housing estate.
Swainson Street, Seed Street and the ground floor of the Talbot Road multi-storey have also been lost due to development.
A new car park has been opened at Tower Street but will close when Wilkinson’s relocates to the site, while new bays are now operating on the site of the former Syndicate nightclub following its demolition.
Since April, which is not included in these figures, the cost of on-street parking has increased in the town centre from £1.50 for 90 minutes to £2. A report to the council’s tourism, resources and economy scrutiny committee says: “Against all predictions the service has managed to almost meet its target in 2015/16, which proved a well performing year for car parking Blackpool.”