Monday 12 September 2016, By Autovolo
Cash-strapped councils around the UK could be losing up to £50 million in annual revenue by failing to advertise parking permits effectively, according to the online parking market place YourParkingSpace.co.uk.
The company made a Freedom of Information request, which found that many of the 265 councils that responded were struggling to sell their quota of annual parking season tickets.
As a result, councils are missing the opportunity to rake in hundreds of thousands of pounds in additional revenue, just as cuts in government funding are causing the closure of many vital services.
Harrison Woods, managing director at YourParkingSpace.co.uk, said: “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.”
This year, the borough of Waverley, Surrey, voted to increase council tax by the maximum permitted percentage in a bid to balance the books, but it only sold 205 of its 918 annual parking permits during the 2015/16 financial year. That equates to more than £600,000 of unsold tickets.
Meanwhile, Cheshire East Council decided to cut £500,000 of funding for Children’s Centres earlier this year, yet it only sold 442 of its 1,098 parking permits, leading to a £460,000 shortfall that would almost have covered the funding.
Woods said that poor marketing, rather than a lack of demand, is to blame.
“Many of the private parking spaces that we advertise in towns and cities are often quickly let so it is clear that the demand for long term parking is there,” he said.
“Councils could be missing a trick by simply not marketing them very well. Over the past 12 months we’ve generated over £5 million in income for businesses and private individuals, and the revenue potential for councils is huge.”
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