East Riding council makes £1m a year from on and off street car parking in Bridlington - as parking charges are set to rise today.
The council has revealed that this figure (£1,009,000) is almost half of what is made across the East Riding, £2,137,000.
Coun Cyril Marsburg said at last week’s Bridlington Town Council meeting that the increases could prove to be “the final nail in the coffin of Bridlington”.
As of 8am this morning, prices in authority owned car parks were set to go up by 10p an hour, residents and special group permits will increase by between £1 and £5, visitor scratchcards will double in price to £10 – while annual resident parking passes will go up £50 over two years.
East Riding Council say that charges have stayed the same for three years, and that rises are needed to provide safe parking and “allow for a regular turnover of spaces to support local commerce”.
There are 15,400 parking spaces in the East Riding, with 5,400 of those in Bridlington - not including on-street spaces. The council say that the amount made in Bridlington includes a high proportion of income from tourists.
Around half of car parking income is spent on East Riding car parks, £1m, with further spending on ensuring compliance with traffic and parking regulations.
A spokesperson for ERYC said: “The remaining income forms part of the base budget for Transport and Highways Maintenance and so is not surplus, but is used as part of the funding for road maintenance. Any reduction in income impacts adversely on the ability to undertake Highways Maintenance which even with the assumed £1m plus income is very stretched in terms of the road length that needs maintenance.”
Bridlington Mayor Michael Charlesworth believes East Riding council are using Bridlington as a “cash cow”.
“The parking situation is difficult enough and I’m sure these increases will make things worse,” said Coun Charlesworth.
“The problem with putting prices up is that there seems to be no relation between the charges and the cost of running the car parks.”
And Bob Hillery, president of the Bridlington Tourism Association, voiced concerns over the impact rises would have on tourism, labelling the decision “barmy”.
He said: “It’s absolutely ridiculous. It will absolutely put people off from visiting the town. When everybody else is keeping costs down they should at least be trying to do the same in Bridlington.”
Beaconsfield and Palace car parks have been re-banded as part of the changes, “to spread use between car parks and improve traffic flow”.
They will now be free for the first half hour, short-stay only, and then cost £1 for an hour, £2 for two, £3 for three and £4 all day.
But local businesses have expressed concern over these changes, which will stop motorists with annual passes parking at Palace car park.
The option to park at Palace had been taken away from those buying new annual passes two years ago, but kept available for drivers who had bought the passes every year.
East Riding Council’s Civil Parking Enforcement programme – which sees officers enforce parking rules and hand out fixed penalty notices to illegally parked cars – made £1,046,095 in its first year, a £131,161 loss.The council say this was due to set up costs, and that they intend to break even within a five year period.
Barry Guildford, of the West Street and Surrounding Area Action Group (WSSAAG), questioned the rises. He said that the council could not provide him with a cost for administering the Controlled Parking Zone (CPZ) scheme, and therefore could not be justified in raising the price of resident permits.