Council profits from car park charges slump after last year

A parking warden checking tickets in Clarendon Road, Southsea.'Picture: Allan Hutchings (113795-399)
A parking warden checking tickets in Clarendon Road, Southsea.'Picture: Allan Hutchings (113795-399)

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COUNCILS across the area have revealed profits from car parking charges in the area have gone down from last year.

In its annual report Portsmouth City Council recorded that profit from both off-street and on-street parking charges was £2,486,351 in 2011 to 2012, a decrease from the previous year when profit was recorded at £2,574,843.

The parking operations manager at Portsmouth City Council Michael Robinson said: ‘The summer wasn’t good from a tourist point of view, so although we had some good days, for instance the torch relay.

‘It was miserable during the weekend and sunny during the week. Our income was down from that and due to the wider economy too.’

He also added that revenue from car parking helped the council and saved council tax payers from an increase.

But Gosport Borough Council saw an increase, posting a profit of £358,764 for off-street parking in 2011 to 2012, up from £254,480 in 2010 to 2011.

The council does not currently run on-street parking.

It comes as the council raised car park charges this month by 10p at short-stay car parks.

Vice-chairman of the community board at Gosport council Cllr Derek Kimber said the council had been told previously it needed to maximise its revenue streams so it would not lose out on central government funding.

He said: ‘We introduced car park charges and they go up year on year because the expense of maintaining them goes up.

‘But I think you reach a point where you say you can’t take any more money from the public for parking and it’s not fair.

‘We’ve probably just about reached that point now.’

Fareham Borough Council said its car parking profits for both on-street and off-street were £1,252,000 for 2011 to 2012, a drop from £1,493,000 for 2010 to 2011.

It comes as the council plans to re-designate car parks to inner and outer car parks, with overall cost to the user at Malthouse Lane and Trinity Street car parks reducing due to the length of time they will be used by drivers.

Leader of the council Cllr Sean Woodward said: ‘We need to move beyond talking about profit to do with car parking.

‘We have to maintain the car parks. For example the Osborn Road multi-storey car park in Fareham is getting to the end of its useful life and we’re going to have to spend about £30 million replacing it.’

Havant Borough Council posted an income, not profit, of £859,677 for off-street in 2010 to 2011 but did not provide figures for 2011 to 2012 when approached by The News.

Businesses in Havant expressed their anger yesterday over additional charges of up to 30 pence an hour.