Nottingham City Council says revealing car park income would cause 'significant harm'

Trinity Square Car Park.
Trinity Square Car Park -Credit:Mark Fear

Nottingham City Council will not say how much it is making at each of its car parks because the information would hold "huge commercial value" to private competitors like NCP. Although the authority publishes accounts which state how much it earns from parking overall, it will not release data on how each of its car parks, including the most recently opened Broad Marsh Car Park, are performing.

The authority recorded an income of nearly £11 million from parking over the 2022/23 financial year, which includes both off-street and on-street parking. Nottinghamshire Live asked the city council for figures at each individual car park, with other facilities run by the authority including the Trinity Square car park.

Responding to a Freedom of Information request, the council said that disclosing the information "is likely to prejudice the council's commercial position in the car park market. Disclosure of this information could lead to a loss of income. It would hold huge commercial value to private competitors. Therefore, disclosure of this information would significantly harm the council".

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Although acknowledging that there was a public interest in seeing the figures, the council said the risk of commercial harm outweighed the public interest. The authority said: "The council has considered that it has an obligation to maximise its revenue streams and one way to do this is through car parking income in a competitive market.

"It is therefore in the public interest that the council maintains this income stream at a time when public finances are under considerable strain. Revealing the requested would be likely to damage future council income and would therefore have an impact on public services."

It comes after prices to park in Nottingham were increased again in April. The amount of revenue at Nottingham's car parks within the latest accounts is significantly higher than in the years preceding the pandemic, with an income of around £9 million recorded in the 2017/18 and 2018/19 financial years.