Councils missing out on millions on parking

Cash-strapped councils could be missing out on nearly £50m of extra revenue a year by failing to market their parking spaces effectively, a new study has claimed.

Online parking operator YourParkingSpace.co.uk found that a number of local authorities were struggling to sell many of their annual parking season tickets, which could have netted each authority hundreds of thousands of extra pounds a year.

The revelation, based on Freedom of Information responses from 265 local authorities, comes at a time when councils up and down the country are being forced to pull the plug on vital public services in order to deal with drastic central government funding cuts and steep savings targets.

The report states that in Northampton the study claims the council would have needed to sell just three more annual parking permits, priced at £1,296 to save the town’s shop mobility service. The service, described as a ‘lifeline’, which provides mobility scooter hire for disabled and less mobile shoppers, will end this month due to a £3,000 cut to the funding it receives from the Borough Council.

“As deep budget pressures force local councils to make drastic spending cuts, the extra revenue that could be made through effectively marketing their parking permits could help fund vital services that are at risk of being lost,” said Harrison Woods, managing director at YourParkingSpace.co.uk.

“Many of the private parking spaces that we advertise in town and cities are often quickly let so it is clear that the demand for long term parking is there,” added Woods.

“Councils could be missing a trick by simply not marketing them very well. Over the past 12 months we’ve generated over £5m in income for businesses and private individuals, and the revenue potential for councils is huge.”

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