City council misses out on £1m in car parking revenue

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The City of Lincoln missed out on £1,015,648 in car parking revenue last year— £125,000 less than what it expected at the beginning of the year.

The council wanted to make £6,064,000, but in fact only brought in £5,025,000 over the past year.

A final report on the council’s finances for 2018/19 is to go before the authority’s executive next Tuesday, which shows the figure has fallen from a forecast shortfall of £1.141 million.

However, once staff costs such as overtime, savings, etc are taken into account, the figure rises to a shortfall of £1.039m.

At the time, the council blamed a trend which saw a reduction in demand following the closure of big national retailers.

The report on Tuesday hails the “acceleration” of a car parking income strategy following the predictions in earlier reports as one of the key aids to dulling the blow.

The strategy includes work to improve car parks, promote the city and its own car parks, increasing permit parking and residents parking.

Council officials say the income received is still higher than last year’s, but that it is not as high as they predicted at the beginning of the year.

They say they have “revised income projections” from 2019/20 onwards, which they say will “better reflect parking usage, along with putting plans in place to continue improving the look and attractiveness of all our car parks.”

Simon Walters, Director of Communities and Environment at City of Lincoln Council, said: “We provide Lincoln with a wide variety of car parks across the city, covering all budgets. Our newest, Lincoln Central, for example delivers a safe, welcoming environment for residents, commuters, shoppers and visitors and has, along with the new bus station, helped revitalise a key visitor arrival point into the city.

“Our car parks are provided with the future in mind and will continue to benefit from the university’s development and improved rail connections. They are already benefitting from the increased number of tourists visiting the city but they have, in turn, been affected by the national downturn in the retail sector.”

The money will go into maintaining the service, he said, including investment in new contactless payment ticket machines and CCTV in Broadgate and Lucy Tower Street car parks.