Brighton and Hove City Council’s yearly parking report indicates a significant rise in parking revenue, reaching almost £33 million in the 2022-23 fiscal year, compared to £31.6 million the previous year. The surplus of £19.5 million generated from parking charges and fines contributed to funding bus passes and subsidising select bus routes, according to the report presented to councillors.
On-street parking emerged as a notable contributor to the increased revenue, generating an additional £1 million, with a total of £12.4 million in 2022-23 compared to the preceding year. Simultaneously, the issuance of penalty charge notices saw an uptick, reaching 146,190 fines, a slight increase from the 142,320 issued in the prior year.
The report, presented to the council’s Transport and Sustainability Committee, revealed that 52 court prosecutions were initiated for blue badge misuse. Furthermore, 179 cases resulted in a “community resolution” for misusing a blue badge, and enforcement and investigation officers retained 267 badges. The council’s enforcement officers were actively visiting four schools daily in Brighton and Hove, ensuring compliance with “keep clear” signs during school run times. Collaboration with head teachers, the police, and the council’s school streets and road safety teams was highlighted in the report.
The chair of the Transport and Sustainability Committee acknowledged the need for parking improvements in the city, stating the initiation of a strategic review of parking strategy and traffic management to create a more equitable parking service for residents, visitors, and businesses.
The report detailed a rise in parking permit income to nearly £12 million, compared to £11 million in the previous year and £8.7 million in 2020-21. Meanwhile, income from penalty charges, encompassing on-street, bus lane, and CCTV enforcement, experienced a slight decline. Fines in 2022-23 totalled £8.37 million, down marginally from £8.4 million the year before.
After deducting the £13.2 million cost of parking enforcement from the overall parking income, a surplus of £19.5 million remained. The report emphasised that all surplus parking and penalty charge income must be directed towards public transport, road, air quality, and environmental improvements.
In the fiscal year 2022-23, the council allocated £10.6 million for concessionary fares for older people and the disabled. Bus route subsidies amounted to £1.6 million, while £1.8 million went towards capital investment borrowing costs, and £5.4 million was dedicated to transport-related spending.
Notably, online transactions dominated parking permit purchases, with 99 per cent of the over 46,000 households opting for digital channels. More than 27,000 visitor permits were purchased online, and an equivalent number utilised the parking customer services phone line.
Looking ahead, the council’s Transport and Sustainability Committee is scheduled to convene at Hove Town Hall on Tuesday, 6th February, at 4 pm. The meeting will be webcast on the council’s website.
In conclusion, as the administration commits to an ongoing strategic review, the surge in parking income reflects a financial boon for the council, contributing to vital public transport and environmental initiatives. The future direction of parking policies and strategies will likely be shaped by ongoing discussions and collaborative efforts between the council and key stakeholders.