Concerns over Blackpool car park report

The council made an income of 5,088,731 from its car parks in the last year.
The council made an income of 5,088,731 from its car parks in the last year.
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Blackpool councillors raised concerns about the number of people using resort car parks despite making more money from them this year.

Blackpool councillors raised concerns about the number of people using resort car parks despite making more money from them this year.

The figures are from August last year to July this year.

The figures are from August last year to July this year.

During a council meeting on Wednesday, councillors discussed the recent parking services performance report.

Blackpool Council made an income of more than £5m from its car parks last year, a five per cent increase, despite nearly 60,000 fewer users.

Coun Maxine Callow is worried less people are coming into Blackpool to shop.

She said: “I am concerned about the fall in the number of people using West Street, Talbot Road and Central car parks.

There are 22-council owned car parks as well as two private car parks the council manages.

There are 22-council owned car parks as well as two private car parks the council manages.

“We do have some stores that we can’t afford to lose, such as Marks and Spencer.”

Coun Adrian Hutton said roadworks maybe putting some people off.

He said: “Trying to get into some of the car parks has been very difficult over the last few months and I do wonder if that is a reflection of that difficulty.”

The figures for the report run from August last year to this July.

Philip Welsh, head of tourism and communications, said the figures don’t include any free car parking.

He added: “When there is free parking, there is no ticket issued so it is impossible to count users so there will be a chunk of the downturn in patronage in December.”

He also ruled out parking prices being a factor in the increased income.

He said: “There has been no increase in tariffs at the start of this financial year, but if you look at the revenue growth in the financial year to date from April to August, revenue is about £100,000 ahead of last year, so it is not tariff driven.”

PARK AND GLIDE

Park and Ride maybe rolled out more often following the successful trail during the Air Show weekend last month, called 'Park and Glide'.

Philip Welsh said: “The figures over the weekend were really positive and we had nearly a 1,000 cars use it.

“We want to explore where we could role out that system more often, particularly when we have big pressure points on the car parks and road infrastructure.

“Whether it is sustainable all year round is arguable but there is certainly weekends such as Switch On when it will be better to get people out of their cars and into the park and ride system.”