Agenda item

Agenda item

Report on Park and Ride/Car parking income

The Panel requested that the Head of Corporate Property provide a report setting out information on income at car parks and park and ride sites.  The Head of Corporate Property will attend to present the report and to answer the Panel’s questions.


The Panel was grateful to the Head of Corporate Property for submission of the report on income from car parks and park and ride sites.  Emma Gubbins, Corporate Assets Lead, presented the report and Jason Munro, Head of Managed Services at Oxford Direct Services, attended alongside her to answer the Panel’s questions.  The Panel had a wide-ranging discussion in which it explored the assumptions made in some detail.  The report and the Panel discussion fed into the work of the Budget Review Group and its conclusions and resulted in paragraphs 33-35 of the report submitted to Cabinet on and which read:

The Review Group was grateful for the modelling provided by officers which set out why there was no proposal to increase charges at the Park and Rides.  The Review Group accepted that the Council continued to strongly encourage people to use the Park and Rides and that was a key part of its approach to transport in the city.  The Review Group also recognised that revenue had still not returned to pre-pandemic levels during the week and, given that large proportions of those who had previously commuted daily were now working with some element of home working, it was difficult to assume that usage figures would return to those seen previously.  The Review Group understood therefore the sensitivity of the Council to the risk of discouraging people from using the Park and Ride for any reason.  The Review Group was advised that a 10% resistance factor had been built in to the modelling and that even a 1% increase in charges would be likely to lead to an annual net loss of almost £90k.


The Review Group established that there was no data available to show what level of resistance had been seen at Park and Rides when prices had been increased previously because it had not been done.  Rather, the data available was from when prices had increased at urban and suburban car parks and resistance of between 4% and 18% had been seen.  The Review Group recognised that it would be difficult to accurately project reductions in usage of Park and Rides without an increase being implemented but was not satisfied that a 10% reduction in use for any increase was realistic given the different needs and behaviours of those using Park and Rides.  The Review Group considered it overly conservative and had doubts that one in ten would not use the Park and Ride if there were an increase of ten pence on a £2 charge. 


The Review Group accepted that Council-owned Park and Ride charges were set in consultation with the County Council, who also own sites, and the bus companies.  The Review Group was also aware that the bus companies had recently launched an advertising campaign promoting the current prices.  Nonetheless, and recognising the challenges involved in modelling where directly applicable data does not exist, the Review Group considered that it would be appropriate for the Council to re-evaluate its assumptions regarding projected revenue loss were fees to be increased.


Recommendation 9: That the Council re-evaluates its assumptions around reduction in use of park and rides as a result of changes in charges to create a more realistic picture of what both income levels and usage would look like with different fees.

The Panel agreed to amend the agenda and to take Scrutiny Performance Monitoring before the item on the budget.


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