Parking tariffs around hospital to increase

Parking outside the shops in Skircoat Green, Skircoat Green Road.

Parking outside the shops in Skircoat Green, Skircoat Green Road.

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Hospital visitors and staff will have to pay more in some streets in Skircoat Green as Calderdale Council looks to introduce increase car parking charges.

Charges were introduced to the Skircoat area as part of the Income Generation Report.

The charges were later reduced and an all-day tariff cap introduced in early 2014.

Parking around the hospital remains competitive partly due to the recent increase in charges at the hospital car park (£2.50 for up to two hours) and the introduction of a new Residents’ Parking Scheme at Manor Heath.

Calderdale Council’s Group Director Economy and Environment Mark Thompson said: “It is felt appropriate to align the charges at Dudwell Lane to those of neighbouring Godfrey Road and Dryclough Lane (80p per hour) and to increase the long stay charged for spaces to 50 pence per hour with an all-day cap of £2.50.”

The proposed new tariffs and the introduction of fees to on street parking and free car parks have been revealed by Mr Thompson in his report to the Economy and Investment Panel.

Mr Thompson said the extra income made possible through these charges will ensure that a new approach to highways investment is possible.

This includes invest to save, the £22.5m LED street lighting investment, and options to tackle the backlog of highways maintenance.

“The most obvious suggestion would be to increase charges across the board by, say, 10 or 20 pence per hour.

“However, the needs and characteristics of the different towns across Calderdale mean that more sophisticated solutions are required.

Setting parking charges at the right level makes a significant difference to the local economy.

“Setting the charges too high or too low will and does affect people’s parking habits.

“Too high and people will choose to park elsewhere – often in residential streets leading to high numbers of complaints and requests for residents’ parking schemes to be set up or, simply reject areas for shopping and go elsewhere. “Setting charges too low encourages car use and oversubscription of available parking spaces – in addition this has a negative impact on air quality as cars are constantly circulating trying to find an available parking space.

“It is difficult to predict with certainty what impact a tariff change will have on occupancy levels despite holding several years’ worth of data on parking income.

“The data does not show the variety of changes that have taken place that affected parking habits and/or income such as ‘car park closures, competition from private operators, TRO errors, adverse weather etc.’

“It is only when you see the whole picture that you are able understand the various nuances that need to be considered when setting charges sensitively and pragmatically.

“As already stated, predicting income from raised tariffs cannot be done with certainty. Each town has been considered independently.”