People power, parking permits and car park payment in Leeds

Council plans to introduce a £50 fee for resident and visitor parking permits could be scrapped – for now.

civic_hall_fullSenior executive board councillors are next Wednesday expected to agree not to proceed any further with the introduction of fees ‘at this time’ following an extensive consultation exercise on the unpopular proposal.

Apparently some 4,200 responses were received during the consultation.

In June, the executive board agreed to consult on the proposals to charge for the permits in light of budget pressures being faced by the authority.

A report to be considered by councillors next week notes the current annual running costs of residents’ parking permits schemes is £164,870.

The report concludes:

“Following the detailed residents survey, wider public comment and review by the Scrutiny Board …. it is clear that the proposals command little support from residents nor many Members with a range of issues and consequence being potentially attributed to any future charge.

“As a result of this and the difficulties of tailoring any potential fee to the diverse range of schemes and communities in which schemes operate across the city this report has recommended not proceeding with any charging proposals at the present time.”

Councillors are also recommended to:

“…ask officers to consider further the views of residents, with a view to re-evaluating the criteria used to determine residents’ parking schemes, ensuring a tailored approach to address the different needs across the city, reviewing those schemes which are no longer deemed appropriate by the public and considering how further economies can be made in relation to
this service.”

City centre parking

Meanwhile, charges for city centre parking in the evenings and on Sundays come into effect in Leeds on Monday 18 November.

A £2 flat rate from 6pm until 10pm seven days a week will apply. On Sundays, parking for less than four hours will cost £1 and over four hours will cost £4.

The decision to introduce the charges was taken by the council’s executive board on 19 June this year. Having now completed the relevant legal processes the charges can be implemented.

A Leeds City Council spokeswoman said:

“While we acknowledge that charging for something that was previously free isn’t going to be popular, we must find a delicate balance between managing the increasing demand for parking alongside the need to keep traffic and the economy moving and encouraging people to make the most of public transport.”

Results of the city centre car parking consultation carried out in late 2012 and early 2013 revealed that of those who responded, 65% didn’t favour the introduction of evening or Sunday car parking charges.

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