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Scrapped parking charges costing council £1m a month

Buckinghamshire Council has seen a big drop in income during the pandemic.

Published by Local Democracy Reporter Oliver Sirrell at 8:00am 6th June 2020. 3-minute read.

Scrapped parking charges costing council £1m a month

More than £1 million a month is being lost by Buckinghamshire's council after car parks were closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Buckinghamshire Council has not collected fees from off-street and on-street parking after the lockdown was introduced in March and car parks across the county closed.

The authority receives £196,000 on average per month from on-street parking, and £808,000 on average per month from off-street parking.

This is a total of £1,004,000.

In addition to this, close to £1.1 million in fines handed out to drivers are currently unpaid and are “on-hold”.

A report produced for Buckinghamshire Council’s transport committee outlined how this loss of income is placing a “significant financial pressure” on the authority.

It continued:

“Consideration is being given within the service as to how to recover from the point of zero income.

“The service has noted an increase in inconsiderate parking at parks and beauty spots around Buckinghamshire.

“This has a negative impact on traffic flows in the area and local residents, and therefore the reputation of the council.”

Waterside North Car Park

There are 84 off-street car parks across Buckinghamshire, including eight multi-storey car parks.

On-street spaces add up to 1,193 spaces throughout the county.

Other areas affected

This issue is set to be discussed by councillors at the council’s transport, environment and climate change committee on Thursday, June 11.

Members of the committee will talk about how coronavirus has affected these areas of the council’s work.

A big impact council bosses and residents experienced was the way waste collection was affected.

All nine of the county’s household recycling centres were forced to close, but now have all been re-opened.

Staff illness and absence caused kerbside collectins to be suspended at different times, and garden waste collection across Buckinghamshire was suspended for seven weeks.

These closures and suspensions of services led to more fly-tipping, according to the committee’s report.

Despite these issues, in some areas output has increased from the council’s transport and roads team.

Almost 1,800 potholes were repaired in April 2020, compared to 1,312 in April 2019.

Work on complex road surfacing schemes was also pushed forward because of a lack of cars on the road, including projects on the A418 in Aylesbury, A40 junctions in Beaconsfield and at Langley Park Road in Iver.

However, the department has seen delays to implementing some big road projects and HS2 construction work has reduced, but applications are still being received in relation to this project.

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