THEY’RE often criticised as being council money-spinners but some Bournemouth parking meters are earning just a few pounds a week.
A printed transaction docket, left in a meter in Manor Road by a traffic warden, showed the meter had made just £6 in the three weeks between January 20 and February 9.
It also revealed that this one meter had collected just £1,504.50 since it was installed along Manor Road in the East Cliff area on June 11, 2009 – the equivalent of just over £8 a week.
Further enquiries to Bournemouth council confirmed that all 18 meters in Manor Road have collected a total of £83,000 since June 2009 – an average of £25 per meter per week.
East Cliff resident David Reed, who found the docket, said: “As far as I am concerned the meter bays are hardly ever used and the road is usually empty of parked cars.
“If the aim of the council is to dissuade motorists from visiting Bournemouth then they are very successful.”
Bournemouth council was unable to provide the Echo with a breakdown of the costs of purchasing, installing and maintaining the meters but said the maintenance costs were “minimal”.
Gary Powell, parking and traffic manager, said: “The parking meters on Manor Road were primarily introduced to encourage people to park more considerately, which benefits both residents and visitors to the area.”
And East Cliff Cllr Michael Filer, who has responsibility for parking, said he was not surprised that some of the meters brought in very little income. “They were put there when we put meters along the clifftop, in response to residents’ requests,” he said.
“The traffic department warned that, if there were no restrictions in Manor Road, people would simply park there instead of paying to park along the cliff.
“The west part of Manor Road is extremely popular, whereas the east part is not. But the meters need to be all the way along because otherwise they would take the revenue away from the clifftop.
“The policy for the town is if it all possible, we want to be sure that no parking charges go up and no meter charges are increased.
“If we are able to achieve that it will be the fourth successive year of no increases.”