By Harry Thomas-Humphreys
Staffordshire County Council and Stafford Borough Council both saw income generated from parking fees in 2020 reduce by almost half compared to 2019, Freedom of Information requests have revealed.
Staffordshire County Council, which is responsible for on-street parking in the county, collected 40% less parking fees at £624,000 in 2020 compared to £1million the council raised in 2019.
Stafford Borough Council, which is responsible for car parks in the town, generated £1.3million in parking fees in 2020 – a 42% fall from the £2.3million the borough council made in 2019.
A spokesperson for Stafford Borough Council confirmed the fall in parking revenue had impacted the council budget, and added: “The pandemic has had a major financial impact on the council with a loss of income and additional cost pressures in the last 12 months and this is likely to continue through the 2021-22 financial year.”
Darryl Eyers, Director for Economy, Infrastructure and Skills at Staffordshire County Council, said: “During the Covid-19 pandemic and the travel restrictions introduced we saw a lot less traffic on our roads.
“This meant that there was reduced need for our parking attendants who were redeployed in other council departments to help with vital services.
“As the various lockdowns were lifted, parking attendants were gradually reintroduced where required.”
The parking fees generated by Staffordshire County and Stafford Borough Council comprise of parking meters and Penalty Charge Notices issued to drivers.
Parking revenue streams form an important source of income for councils and the money is typically reserved for short-term expenditure.