Park and Ride Pounds and Pence

A brief financial update on the Essex County Council Park and Ride between Cuckoo Farm and the town centre.

MAJOR disclaimer: The Chronic is CRAP at all things involving figures…

So there.

We slapped in an FoI with ECC to see how the service is settling in since first being introduced back in April.

Our FoI covered the first three months between April and June. This might seem like a long way back now, but ECC were bloody late in answering the FoI.

But anyway.

During the three month period, 30,480 journeys have been made on Park and Ride.

Our back of a fag packet calculations suggests that this is 2,540 per week for the Monday to Saturday service. This then breaks down to a fairly reasonable 423 per day.

We then wanted to know what the real cost was of running the service. This would cover the overheads that it actually takes to manage Park and Ride.

ECC has come back to us stating that each journey has an actual cost of £4.48. The adult fare charged is £2. This was reduced from £3 from when the scheme was first set up.

It would be too simplistic though to claim that each journey is running at a loss of £2.48. Child and concession fares apply.

We asked ECC to include these in the FoI, but they didn’t have this data.

We also wanted to know how much has been spent on Park and Ride in total. We asked for this figure to include all overheads such as admin and advertising.

To date, ECC has invested £1.9m on Park and Ride for Colchester.

The Council was keen to point out that some of this money has come from Local Growth Funding from the South East Local Enterprise Partnership.

The true value of Park and Ride however can’t be answered with such a crude FoI.

You would need to see if town centre businesses have experienced any boost in trade since the scheme was first introduced in April.

Finally we asked to see any correspondence between CBC and ECC regarding Park and Ride.

Our interest here was to see how the two tiers of local government have been working together to help manage the scheme.

A common criticism often coming from the LibLab CBC Cabinet is one of frustration with the Tories over in Chelmsford.

Sadly ECC was unable to answer this question.

Apparently it would… cost to much.

All aboard.