Higher charges help boost Blackpool's income from parking

Central Car Park
Central Car Park
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Parking revenue collected by Blackpool Council has increased in the last year despite a drop in income at town centre parking meters which has been blamed on roadworks.

Although the overall number of users of both on and off-street parking has decreased, revenue is around £100,000 ahead of the same time last year.

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Figures comparing August 2017 to July 2018 to the same period for the previous 12 months show usage of council run car parks has decreased by 56,254 from 1,069,025 to 1,012,771.

But revenue is up by £219,578 from £4.8m to just over £5m, an increase of five per cent.

This is partly explained by an increase in charges introduced in the first half of 2017, but also because people who use the car parks are staying for longer.

On-street parking has seen a drop in patronage of 66,454, with income down by £41,455 from £925,456 to £884,001, a drop of four per cent.

The figures are part of a report going before the council's tourism, resources and scrutiny committee when it meets on Wednesday.

The report says factors including good weather and investment in the Icon ride at the Pleasure Beach have helped boost numbers.

It says "the protracted heatwave experienced over May and June this year attracted large volumes of additional visitors and this is reflected in the strong performance on parking revenue over those months.

"In addition, the investment in the new rollercoaster at Blackpool Pleasure Beach has attracted significant numbers of additional visitors, increasing patronage on car parks to the south of the town."

But the report adds: "Conversely, the town centre improvement works being undertaken at various locations has had a temporary negative impact on usage, particulary on-street.

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

The council will also lose revenue now the Tower Street car park has closed for the construction of a new Wilko store and IMAX cinema.

There are around 900 pay-and-display on street parking bays in Blackpool, plus around 5,280 parking spaces in 22 council owned car parks, plus two which are privately owned but managed by the council.