Senior councillors meeting next week are being asked to approve recommendations that charges be introduced for both: a flat rate charge of £2 for evening parking (6pm-10pm), and a £1 charge for up to 4 hours on a Sunday, £4 for all day Sunday (10am – 6pm).
The recommendations come despite objections to the idea from residents who participated in a council consultation exercise on the issue. Some two-thirds of those who took part said they objected to the introduction of charges on both evenings and Sundays.
The charges are expected to generate £0.4m in 2014-15, a report prepared for next week’s meeting says.
“Charging levels proposed … are based on a reasonable level of charge when compared to other core cities and also with reference to other car parking providers within the city centre,” it says.
£5 parking for Arena events at Woodhouse Lane
The report doesn’t say when the charges would be introduced, but notes that considerable work would have to be carried out before implementation in terms of “reviewing existing Traffic Regulation Orders, signing and lining etc.” A “Project Board” has been set up to manage the process.
Among the reasons for introducing the new charges given in the report are:
· there’s going to be increased demand in the future on the car parking spaces available in the city centre, most of which drivers have to pay for at evenings and weekends. “Introducing an appropriate level of charge will allow better regulation and availability of those spaces for the increasing number of city centre visitors anticipated in the coming years.”
· other ‘core cities’ also charge for Sundays and/or evening parking.
· the opening of the Arena will increase the demand for city centre car
parking spaces; “it seems illogical to provide free spaces when all other
operators (including the council at Woodhouse multi-storey) will be charging”.
On other parking matters, the senior councillors are also being asked to approve keeping the council’s Woodhouse Lane car park open round-the-clock (it currently shuts at 9pm), with a £5 tariff introduced for events at the nearby Arena.