City councils in the UK lost tens of millions of pounds in revenue from parking enforcement due to the coronavirus pandemic, new figures have revealed.
In a sign of how much councils rake in from parking fines, with Britons in lockdown, unable to visit certain locations and many working from home between April and June 2020, 19 of the largest UK cities – including London – pocketed just £16.6 million from parking fines.
That compares with £55.7 million generated in the same period last year, a decline of 71 per cent and a loss of £40.1million in revenues.
Parking fine black hole: New figures have revealed that the largest UK cities pocketed just £16.6m from parking fines between April and June. A year ago they made £55.7m in revenue
The massive financial losses for authorities has been revealed by car leasing service LeaseFetcher, which issued a Freedom of Information request to city councils to discover the scale of the financial burden of the Covid-19 crisis.
As well as the plummet in city footfall due to the pandemic, some councils also rolled out free parking for key workers during the early weeks of the nation going into lockdown.
April yielded a record-low parking-related penalty charge notice figure, down 85 per cent year-on-year.
Unsurprisingly, London boroughs missed out most on making money from drivers breaching parking rules or leaving cars for longer than the allotted time.
As well as the plummet in city footfall due to the pandemic, some councils also rolled out free parking for key workers during the early weeks of the nation going into lockdown as parking wardens were told to stay home
Collectively, revenues from parking tickets during the three-month period was just £14.8million compared to takings of £46.6million in 2019.
That’s a decline of 68 per cent, which equates to a staggering loss of £31.8million black hole.
Of the 23 London boroughs who provided data, Camden council lost the highest monetary figure, down £3.4milion. Kensington and Chelsea lost the highest percentage of their income, with earnings plunging by 97 per cent.
The 18 largest UK cities outside of London generated just £1.7million from parking fines from April to June – down from £10,1million a year previous, meaning a loss of 82.9 per cent, or £8.4million.
Glasgow saw the biggest fall in revenues, losing out on £1.2million as it saw fine incomes plummet 88.9 per cent between April and June.
From Scotland to the south of England, Brighton was next in the list, shedding over £1million as issued parking fines dropped by 70.9 per cent.
The 18 largest UK cities outside of London generated just £1.7million from parking fines from April to June – down from £10,1million a year previous
LeaseFetcher said data was not available for Manchester, Liverpool, Nottingham, Sunderland, Barnet, Bexley, Croydon, Lewisham and City of London councils.
Commenting on the findings, Will Craig, founder of LeaseFetcher, said: ‘Nobody likes a parking ticket, and if anything good has come of lockdown, it’s that motorists have saved a staggering amount of cash on PCNs.
‘It’s not so good for the councils, but they are already starting to claw their way back up to pre-lockdown income levels now that restrictions have eased.’
The full results of the FOI investigation can be found here.