PAY-AND-DISPLAY car parks across the city have netted Cheshire West and Chester Council a whopping £5m.
The revenue figures from 11 authority-owned car parks in Chester were obtained following a Freedom of Information request by The Chronicle.
In the financial year 2010/11, five long-stay car parks raised a total of £883,977 compared to £652,533 over the previous 12 months – an increase of nearly a quarter of a million.
However, short-stay car park revenue during 2010/11, totalling £1,744,482, was lower than the previous year’s income of £1,880,367.
The total revenue amassed from all council car parks in the financial years 2009/10 and 2010/11 was £5,161,359.
During 2010/11 there was an overall increase of just under £100,000 on the previous year.
A Cheshire West and Chester Council spokeswoman could not explain the exact reason for the increase in long-stay car park revenue, but suggested visitors were choosing to spend more time in the city.
There is a possibility the first ever Winter Wonderland in Chester in 2010 may have had an impact, although the spokeswoman refused to be drawn on whether that was the case.
Revenue at all five long stay car parks vastly increased during 2010/11.
Most noticeably, income from the Little Roodee car park was up nearly £115,000 on the previous year, while Frodsham Street amassed £30,257 during 2010/11 compared to just £7,327 in 2009/10.
Income from four of the six short-stay car parks decreased during 2010/11.
The biggest drop was at the Market Car Park with revenue plummeting more than £135,000 on the previous year.
Watergate Car Park, however, saw a rise in income of nearly £15,000 during 2010/11 to buck the trend.
Pay-and-display charges remained at the same price over the two financial years.
The Freedom of Information request – which relates to figures available since the council formed in 2009 – also revealed parking ticket fines at the car parks during 2010/11 raised a total of £406,350 compared to £371,160 the previous year – a 9.5% increase.
A total of 3,203 parking tickets were issued to motorists during 2010/11 compared to 2,711 in 2009/10.
The number of parking tickets withdrawn by the council following an appeal was 1,056 during 2010/11, while a total of 876 were withdrawn the previous year.
According to Cheshire West and Chester Council all income from pay and display car parks contribute to its ‘overall revenue budget’.