‘Charges are driving our shoppers away’ say Brighouse business leaders

Scrap them call: Brighouse Bids Lesley Adams awaiting on-street chares - which will stay - in spring
Scrap them call: Brighouse Bids Lesley Adams awaiting on-street chares - which will stay - in spring

Businesses in Brighouse are at loggerheads with Calderdale Council over new parking charges which have been approved for the town - and some existing ones.

READ MORE: Rise in Calderdale car parking charges in towns 'will ruin businesses'

This week Calderdale Council’s Cabinet approved a raft of charges across the borough including Brighouse, where users of Daisy Street car park face a 20p per hour rise to 60p and at Commercial Street, Bethel Street and Parsonage Lane car parks 60p to 70p per hour. At Owler Ings, the 40p per hour rate will rise to 60p an hour.

READ MORE: An in depth look at car park price hikes across Calderdale

There will be no change to current arrangements at Mill Lane, Church Lane, Bank Street and Wakefield Road (Hipperholme) car parks and no change in on-street charges. Cabinet heard new charges were not blanket proposals but assessed town by town and area by area.

READ MORE: These car park price hikes are being planned for Brighouse

But chair of Brighouse BID, Lesley Adams said on-street charges introduced in late spring were driving shoppers away and harming businesses, with one reporting a drop of almost £9,000 in the quarter since some free on-street parking was limited. The charges should be scrapped, she argued:

“Many shoppers don’t like paying for parking and the 30 minute free parking limit means shoppers are no longer browsing and are leaving town.”

Coun Scott Benton (Con, Brighouse) added: “For goodness’ sake let’s listen to the people who have businesses who know about the tremendous affect this is having. They are concerned for their future, their livelihoods and think the current situation is unsustainable.”

However Coun Barry Collins (Lab, Illingworth and Mixenden) said: “It doesn’t help to say every problem on the high street is caused by parking.” Government recognised business rates and online shopping also had effect. An upcoming Town Board meeting would examine the issue in detail.

“We need to get to the bottom of this, because usage of our car parking meters is not reflecting the story which you told, I’m afraid, which on a meter is collectable evidence,” said Coun Collins.