Words: Richard Beecham, local democracy reporter
Leeds City Council saw a decrease of almost two thirds in its income from parking charges in the past two years, new figures have revealed.
It shows the extent not only of the Covid-19 pandemic, but also on the authority’s attempts to boost its flagging city centre economy during the summer of 2020.
The data was released by Leeds City Council via the Datamill North data processing service.
The total amount of money raised by the council via parking charges in the 2018/19 municipal year – the last to have been unaffected by Covid-19 – was £11.89m.
Compared with the amount raised during the latest 2020/21 period – £4.1m – this shows a decrease of almost £8m.
During that time, the amount of money taken by pay and display meters in the city reduced from £9.2m to just under £3m.
Leeds City Council suspended all of its parking charges when the UK went into lockdown at the end of March 2020, and the city’s council-run car park remained free to use until July 4 that year, when Covid restrictions were eased.
The council also offered discounted parking when the charges were reintroduced, in an attempt to boost the city’s economy post-lockdown.
According to Leeds City Council, parking prices in the city centre currently vary from £1.30 for two hours (Kirkstall Road car park) to £5.20 for two hours (on street parking in the central zone). A car can be parked for up to seven days in Woodhouse Lane Multi-Storey for £48.