Motorists in Calderdale hit with £9.6m bill for illegal parking

Parking. Godfrey Road, Halifax.
Parking. Godfrey Road, Halifax.

Motorists in Calderdale have forked out £9.6m after being issued with nearly 50,000 parking tickets in Calderdale over the last three years.

Between the start of the 2015-16 financial year and November 2018, 48,398 tickets were issued to problem parkers, with £9,673,302 being raised between 2015-16 and 2017-18, according to Freedom of Information figures.

Parking. Godfrey Road, Halifax.

Parking. Godfrey Road, Halifax.

After taking away costs such as equipment maintenance and staff, Calderdale Council was left with a surplus of £1,036,282 in 2015-16, £1,573,334 in 2016-17 and £1,909,536 in 2017-18.

The biggest illegal parking hotspot in Calderdale is Godfrey Road, next to Calderdale Royal Hospital, on which drivers have racked up 1,451 parking tickets since 2015-16.

Next on the list is Harrison Road, Halifax, with 1,151 tickets, and then the town’s North Bridge car park, with 1,063 tickets.

In November, Calderdale Council approved parking charge increases, and some new charges, for the borough’s towns.

Parking. Mereside Car Park at Shibden Park.

Parking. Mereside Car Park at Shibden Park.

Then in December, it was announced that the council would be temporarily reintroducing the full hour of free on-street parking in Brighouse after listening to concerns from local businesses.

Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Neighbourhood Services, Coun Susan Press, said: “We regularly review all of our parking charges, to keep prices up-to-date, to ensure spaces are available and to keep Calderdale a thriving place where people want to live, work and do business. Our charges are some of the lowest in the region. We don’t make a profit from parking. We use the money from charges and fines to cover the cost of running car parks, on-street parking and permit schemes; and to invest in important highways schemes, such as maintaining and improving roads, reducing congestion, improving parking facilities and keeping drivers and pedestrians safe – benefiting the whole community.

“Parking in the wrong place at the wrong time can cause congestion, delays, accidents and inconvenience. It can prevent access for pedestrians and other road users, including emergency vehicles when lives may be at risk. We enforce parking regulations and policies to try to make sure this doesn’t happen, to manage traffic and to ensure turnover of parking spaces.

“There is high demand for parking spaces near the hospital, and only those who are not complying with the restrictions will receive a Penalty Charge Notice in accordance with the Traffic Management Act.

“Anyone who receives a Penalty Charge Notice has the right to appeal.”