Last Thursday councillors had first sight of the officersâ€™ ideas about the income (and expenditure) that could be expected from the new car park in Southall.
The modelling they have done to-date assumes that the car park will have 90 paid for places (plus some free Blue Badge spaces) with the same hours and rates as the existing Herbert Road multi-storey car park. The results are horrendous, see spreadsheet reproduced below.
The councilâ€™s officers predict that with the pay by phone mode of payment the car park will produce a net income of Â£25.64 per month â€“ how wonderfully spurious those 64 pence are? We know from the Hambrough Road experience that this will not work. Putting in one pay and display machine and maintaining it every month will wipe out that â€œprofitâ€. In the past the council has stated that the car park will cover its costs. What they are saying is that they will borrow Â£5.323 million at an interest rate of 3% currently, or Â£160K per annum, and make nothing from it. Council taxpayers will have to repay this over 10 years with no help from the car park itself.
It is understandable that the Councilâ€™s officers are gun-shy after they have seen the appalling performance of the temporary car park in Hambrough Road. That temporary car park gives decision makers a chance to change their minds. Will they take it?