Council defends plans to change parking charges

Car parking in Halifax town centre.

Car parking in Halifax town centre.

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Calderdale Council has responded to criticism over its proposed changes to parking charges in Halifax.

Last week the Courier reported that Traffic Regulation Orders (TROs) would be going up around the town centre explaining changes to the existing policy.

This received a vociferous reaction from many people questioning the thinking behind the proposals.

Calderdale Council’s cabinet member for Economy and Environment Barry Collins said: “The changes to town centre parking in Halifax will make it easier for shoppers, visitors and residents to find a more convenient parking space nearer to their destinations. The introduction of a long-stay maximum charge, which is one of the lowest in West Yorkshire, will be beneficial for commuters and people who want to stay longer.

“They have been designed to help address a number of long standing issues in relation to parking in Halifax, such as problems with the availability of spaces, potential road safety issues and balancing the parking charges against parking supply and demand.”

The changes are:

l A maximum daily charge of £3, will be introduced Monday to Friday in the following car parks: High Street, North Bridge, Cross Hills, King Street, Hanover Street, Victoria Street, Union Street and Prescott Street. This would save people who park all day up to £2 per day.

l A review of on-street parking: This will involve changing some existing parking spaces in the outer areas from short stay to long stay. The spaces would be charged at 50p per hour with a maximum charge of £3.50 per day.

l Introduction of an evening parking charge in Halifax: Current charging hours are 8am until 6pm, Monday to Saturday, and this is being extended to 8pm.

l Removal of free parking on Saturdays: A review has shown that the majority of car park users in the free car parks are commuters and employees. To increase the number of spaces available to shoppers and visitors, a £1.00 maximum charge will be introduced on Saturdays in the following car parks: Cross Hills, Victoria Street, High Street and Mulcture Hall Road. Free parking will still be offered in all of the above four car parks on Saturdays in the six weeks leading up to Christmas.

l Introduction of pay and display on Skircoat Road, Halifax: At the moment there are no formal parking spaces on Skircoat Road. This scheme will create 45 new designated car parking spaces with an hourly rate of 50p or a maximum daily charge of £3.50. This will create controlled and safer long-stay spaces.

Councillor Collins said: “The changes are advertised on site for 21 days which will allow members of the public to make formal objections to the proposed changes. Any objections received are acknowledged and logged. After the closing date, each objection is considered and recommendations are made. These are then presented to the head of service, who makes the final decision on whether the proposals will be progressed.”