Covid 19 could cost council £220,000 in lost car park charges

By Julie McNicholls Vale   |   Deputy news editor   |
Friday 24th April 2020 10:03 am
@JulieCambrian
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Monmouthshire council could have lost up to £220,000 in March and April from car parking charges, because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Key workers in Monmouthshire have been able to use council-owned car parks for free since lockdown began on March 24 – provided they display the relevant identification in the car’s dashboard.

With Welsh residents only allowed out for a limited number of reasons, including shopping, daily exercise and going to work, the number of cars using car parks across Monmouthshire has reduced massively.

A Monmouthshire spokesman said: “The Welsh Government has provided free parking permits for NHS and health care key workers, which have been distributed accordingly.

Monmouthshire County Council currently predicts an income loss of approximately £110,000 per month (compared to March and April 2019), taking into account reduced car park usage and free parking for NHS and key workers.

“At this time, it is uncertain how the costs will be recouped, although we are hopeful that the Welsh Government recognises and addresses the significant financial pressures on Councils and the effect this will have on delivering essential public services.

“The revenue from car parking is used to maintain our car parks and highway infrastructure and is therefore essential to our ability to maintain those assets.”

Caerphilly council will also feel the effects of a loss in car parking revenue.

Caerphilly council said they have not enforced car parking charges during the lockdown “in an effort to support key workers and those who need to undertake essential travel.

A council spokesman said: “Our priority at this hugely challenging time is to support our residents and key workers in any way we can and we have not looked into the potential loss at this stage.

“We will be working closely with Welsh Government during the recovery phase, we are not at that point yet, so all of our efforts continue to focus on supporting our community and operating critical services.”

Neither Blaenau Gwent council or Torfaen council charge for their car parks.

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