Removing parking at the north western edge of Halifax centre could affect businesses there – but there is still time to try and find a solution.
Calderdale Council’s Place Scrutiny Board discussed concerns that removing spaces as part of the major multi-million pound overhaul of town centre roads could harm businesses in that quarter.
In addition to major highways improvements on the A629, particularly its eastern and western gateways, pedestrian routes within Halifax centre itself will be improved and connected, which the council believes will bring extra footfall and might increase trade by up to 40 per cent.
But some of the proposals have alarmed businesses – including long-established department store Harveys of Halifax at Commercial Street – who believe a lack of nearby parking spaces will adversely affect them. In short, they say, some customers need somewhere close by to park.
Part of the scheme involves removing parking spaces at Bull Green, which in large part will be pedestrianised. Traffic movements allowed at Commercial Street itself will also be changed.
Harveys have conducted a survey and Roger Harvey and his daughter Tracy, who is the store’s managing director, were invited to present its findings and outline their concerns to the board.
Of around 300 customers surveyed in January, 260 of them, almost 87 per cent, came by car when they visited the store, adding another one per cent for three customers who had been given a lift there.
Just over half of them, mainly from Halifax and wider Calderdale, parked near to the top end of town or used close-by on-street parking where possible to shop or dine at the store, said the survey. Most wanted to park for between one and three hours and the majority on a weekly or monthly basis, said the survey.
Although almost half found parking as it stands very or fairly convenient, three quarters said parking provision as it stood often stopped them shopping in Halifax centre.
Tracy Harvey said loss of spaces was of great concern to businesses in the quarter. Roger Harvey said: “Not everybody comes by bus. We have to accept the car is here and they need somewhere to park.”
Calderdale’s deputy leader Coun Barry Collins (Labour, Illingworth and Mixenden), who was invited to speak to the board, said after hearing debate that with eight weeks to go before plans were expected to be submitted officers would look seriously at trying to find a solution.