A substantial decline in revenue from parking tickets and fines is another consequence of the Covid-19 crisis.
A series of Freedom of Information (FOI) requests shows the sheer scale of the decline for UK councils.
At the peak of lockdown restrictions, enacted across the country between April and June 2020, parking fine revenue fell by some 71 percent.
This could leave councils facing a collective financial black hole of £41.3 million.
The £41 million fall
LeaseFetcher, a contract hire and leasing comparison website, undertook the research. It submitted FOI requests to 20 of the largest metropolitan councils, along with 23 London boroughs..
When combined together, these 43 locations had collected £16,845,599 in parking fines between April and June this year.
That compares to £58,162,078 collected for the same period in 2019 – a huge £41,316,479 reduction. Such a figure is likely to impact the already stretched budgets of local authorities across the UK.
Leicester tops the table again
The 20 cities outside of London accounted for more than £9.5 million of the total revenue lost. It marks a 85.2 percent decrease versus the same April to June period in 2019.
Leicester was the worst affected council, losing 99.21 percent of parking fine income compared to the year before. Cardiff saw a decrease of 98.6 percent, with Belfast suffering a 95.4 percent drop.
Glasgow was the metropolitan area that experienced the biggest fall in sheer financial terms. The Scottish city saw parking fine receipts slashed by more than £1.2 million.
London revenue has fallen down
London operates on another level compared to the rest of the UK when it comes to parking fine revenue. The 23 London boroughs that responded to the FOI request received a colossal £31.7 million less from April to June 2020.
Compared to the same period in 2019, this marks a 68.2 percent decline from the £46.5 million received last year.
The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea saw the largest percentage decrease, losing out on 96.91 percent of parking fine income. Barking and Dagenham had the smallest percentage reduction, at 12.5 percent – and also the lowest monetary fall of £106,025.
Camden was the London borough on the end of the biggest financial decline. The area received £3.3 million less than in 2019.
A ‘common-sense approach to issuing parking and driving fines’ during lockdown was promoted by the London Councils organisation. This included giving consideration to key workers when choosing whether to issue penalties or not.