Parking costs to rise for first time since 2011

Newspaper: Wakefield Express.
Story: Wakefield council are to increase public parking charges, the first rise in five years.
Reporter: Laura Drysdale.
Photographer: Andrew Bellis.
Photo date: 02/06/16
Picture Ref: AB215e0616
Newspaper: Wakefield Express. Story: Wakefield council are to increase public parking charges, the first rise in five years. Reporter: Laura Drysdale. Photographer: Andrew Bellis. Photo date: 02/06/16 Picture Ref: AB215e0616

Parking charges across the district are set to increase for the first time in five years.

Wakefield Council will put up the cost of on and off street parking by around 10p per hour on Monday, June 13, when it also takes on powers for enforcing parking restrictions.

The authority said the rise was “necessary” for it to maintain and improve parking facilities.

But Express readers voiced concerns through Facebook that the hike could discourage people from visiting the city centre.

Steve McPhie said: “Another nail in the coffin for Wakefield centre, I feel for the traders.”

Adie Haigh agreed, writing: “It will kill trade in Wakefield! How insightful.”

Jodie-leigh Edward said: “Going to end up losing a significant amount of custom. Parking fees are ridiculous already.”

And Chris Vlper added: “There’s always White Rose, Meadowhall, Crown Point, Junction 32 & York Designer Outlet with free parking.”

Others said the district’s parking prices were “quite cheap” compared to other places.

The hike comes as the authority prepares to launch a full review of all parking charges. It said it planned to consult with members of the public later this year on proposals for a new parking policy, which could see prices brought in line with neighbouring authorities.

Coun Matthew Morley, the council’s cabinet member for transport and highways said: “This year it is essential to make some changes so that we can meet the costs of providing car parking.

“These costs have risen over the last five years, but we have not had any increase to parking charges since 2011.

“Going forward I want to see a charging policy built around supporting the economic growth of our towns and city, and one that supports those who live and work in the district, as well as meeting the essential costs of providing the facilities.

“The consultation will be a key part of the review and I would like to hear from businesses and residents once the proposals are put forward, later this year.”

The council will also begin enforcing parking restrictions later this month, taking over the responsibility from West Yorkshire Police.

Its civil enforcement officers will monitor parking bays and yellow lines.

And they will hand out £50 and £70 penalty notices to drivers who violate parking regulations.

Coun Morley said: “Civil parking enforcement will make our district’s roads safer and improve traffic flow.

“Businesses should also benefit from the new powers because short-term parking areas such as outside local shops will receive better enforcement.

“This should deter motorists from parking longer than permitted and make it easier for motorists to find a space when needed.”

The council said money from the fines would fund the enforcement service, with any surplus reinvested into the district’s roads.